September 18, 2013

Gift giving on my mind...

Once the Autumn weather rolls around my mind immediately wanders to Christmas...yup...I am weird. I have always started thinking about Christmas gift giving in September. I think it is because I send gifts overseas, so I always have to have things organized early for that so they arrive in time (and I don't have to pay an arm and a leg for speedy shipping). 
This year Christmas will be even more special...Felix will be more aware of what is going on, it might be our last Christmas here for a little bit, and my brother and his fiancee are expecting a little boy in December!
Because Felix will be more aware of everything this year, Justin and I had to finally figure out exactly what kind of traditions we want our family to continue and create for ourselves. I grew up with Christmas on the 24th and we have done that always together as well, but we wanted to include Santa in there too! When I was younger, nothing was decorated for Christmas in the house and we had no tree until the night of the 24th....when we got back from church or a long walk, the "Christ Angel" or "Santa" had come and decorated, brought the tree and left gifts (he is very productive indeed!). Justin grew up with the waking up on the 25th to a mountain of gifts. 
We debated at one point at not making Santa part of it all...we didn't like the idea of essentially writing a list of things you wanted to someone and getting them based on being "good" or "bad" seemed greedy and weird...we were feeling especially dramatic that day ;) 
Then we thought "F it"...we can do what we picked all the things we liked about the traditions we grew up with, got rid of the stuff we didn't like or didn't suit us....and this is what we came up with...
:: every Sunday in December we are going to light a candle on an advent wreath (4 total) and spend some time telling Christmas stories & poems and things we are happy about etc...
:: Keep an advent calendar and open a window every day of December.
:: December 6th we will leave Felix's boots out for Saint Nicholas to fill with nuts, clementines, chocolates and a Christmas book.
:: December 24th is about spending the day with family, playing games, watching a Christmas movie, eating an amazing meal and opening gifts from each other. We want to keep gift giving to a minimum...quality over quantity.
:: December 25th Santa will have come overnight and brought Felix a special gift (which I hope to wrap elaborately to make it look really special and magical).

I think we came up with good ideas and we hope to add to the traditions every year :)

Last week we actually bought our Christmas gifts for Felix....Thomas the train toys...they were 20% off so we thought we would take advantage for Christmas and bought him two engines that he doesn't have yet. Yesterday I placed an order for the rest of his gifts....

These are the ones that he is getting from us on the 24th...
This book has been on my wishlist for Felix for a while now...

Can't beat 20% off! ;)

We are mostly trying to collect all the main eight engines for Felix, but he has a Thomas movie with this character in it that he loves :)

We still have to get a couple of things for his stocking (toothbrush, PJ's, a chocolate Santa and a small book or puzzle)....and that is it...Felix is done! :)

This is his big special Santa gift that he will get on the 25th....

He has been obsessed with Curious George lately...I plan on wrapping all three things together for one big special gift.

For Saint Nicholas day his boots will get filled with nuts, clementines, chocolate (and lebkuchen once we are in Europe) and a couple of Christmas books. I ordered the two above books from for this year...I think he will love them. :)

I also bought my one nieces Christmas gift last night....

 I found the above adorable felt finger puppets on Etsy...I think they will be a big hit :)

Have you started thinking about the holiday season yet? What are your special traditions?

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