This month always goes by so quickly. With all the events, programs, parties, gift making, and visiting that goes on, the fullness of the season makes this month full and fast. I try to be intentional about my, and my children’s time, what we do and with whom – and sometimes I fail. And, that’s ok.
This year, our children are attending a school that has a long winter break, from Thanksgiving to after New Year. I (and of course, they) have been very excited to have December off. Early last week was a rocky start because I had to figure out when and how to get my work done with all the children at home, but I think I have it fairly under control now. We did some fun holiday activities, including decorating the tree and arranging nativity scenes. My paternal grandmother gave me a set of corn husk doll ornaments for our tree about 10 years ago. There was a baker, a mother with a boy clinging to her skirts, a boy with a fishing pole, a milkmaid, a woman with a broom, and so on. I enjoyed them, but my girls have enjoyed them more. They are a source of play everyday when they take them off the tree to have concerts, play house, and do all kinds of imaginative play. The baker has lost her loaf of bread, the boy now crawls on his own (not clinging to his mother’s skirt), the milkmaid lost her bonnet, and all of them have lost the string that kept them hanging on the tree branches. They now lye on the branches or lean against a twig to stay upright when they are not being played with. They are loved.
I set out some greenery to resemble an advent wreath with candles on our table, surrounding a bowl of persimmons that were gifted to us from a friend in Elizabeth City. The persimmons are so beautiful, but I will need to cook them soon. Persimmon butter, perhaps . . . I realized we did not have any candles when I wanted to light one of the first Sunday of advent (when we were eating this wonderful turkey pot pie made with leftovers). Luckily, I had just received a package from Brushy Mountain Bees with some wax and a wick and Anne helped me roll our first candle. And, it worked!
Hythe’s birthday was on Friday and he was in so much anticipation! Hythe got to open his presents, wrapped in Christmas paper as requested, in the morning. We had a fun day out, going for doughnuts at Vortex, doing a few errands and ending with haircuts for all (children, that is). These were Hythe’s and Steven’s first non-home haircuts.
I’ve been trying to focus on some of the little things that need to be done daily, weekly, and seasonally – and having the children help as they can since their days are freed up by the absence of official school. I am trying to have some fun chores, as well as the “daily drudgery” of dish and clothes washing, such as filing the bird feeders and cooking meals. I am also trying to schedule fun (and holiday) activities every day (bike rides, cookie making, friends over to play, etc.).
Evva played at her piano recital on Sunday. I was impressed with all the children who practice and work hard to play such beautiful music. This year, the children were assigned parts of the Christmas story and had to write original music for the character they had to play during the reading of the story – much like Peter and the Wolf. Anne was assigned Baby Jesus and King Harod. Quite opposite characters in musical feeling. Anyway, it was moving and beautiful – the children did a great job.
Sunday was also the sunniest day we’ve had nearly all week. It was beautiful and Evva, and all the children, spent most of the time before the recital playing outside. It made me long for a good hike in the woods. Something else I need to make sure I get in this month at least once!