I say it: I’m the most Christmas loving girl on this planet. I could watch Hallmark movies all year long, I can’t barely wait for Thanksgiving to be over to start decorating our house and I’m planning presents already in summer. The foundation to this was being laid by my parents who made Christmas so magical in our house. My sister and I moved out a long time ago and we have our own families now, but my parents still decorate the whole house. They do it in way that you feel like you’re directly transported to Santa’s magical village and I’m looking so much forward to the day my kids can see this magic at their grandparent’s house. We’ve planned to spend this Christmas in Germany, but the pandemic destroyed our plans like it did for almost everyone. But this isn’t a post about what we’ve missed this Christmas, this is a post about what we’ve won.
As a “Christmassy”-girl myself I could barely wait for my kids being old enough to show them the magic of Christmas. I was waiting for this time since we have children. The first Christmas with a child was when our oldest was 10 months old. So, we put our tree at a table to prevent this tiny little human from getting strangled in the lights – not very magical, if you ask me. Our second Christmas with children …well, we had a toddler and two newborn babies. I don’t have to say much about the magic (honestly, I can barely remember this time because of the HUGE lack of sleep). Our third Christmas with kids: We’ve moved to a foreign country with THREE toddlers, I missed my family, the kids were redecorating the tree as soon as I turned my back on them, and the twins were scared by the Polar Express my husband proudly installed around the tree. Magic? Not so much.
The fourth Christmas was not much different than the third: the twins were still scared from the train, all kids redecorated the tree permanently and were still too young to understand what I was trying to show them – the magic, remember?
This year was my chance: Our fifth Christmas with kids and they were finally old enough to understand everything. Hooray! I had BIG plans. I started very early (no, I don’t mean my present hunting in summer). I bought tons of new decorations, horded new cookie recipes, and had a couple of crafts in my mind. And I wrote a Christmas book, something I dreamed about for a long time. “Quinn Saves Christmas” is a fun story inspired by my little fairy lovers and Santa believers.
As soon as the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers were stored in the fridge, I run downstairs and got our huge boxes of Christmas decorations. The unwrapping of all those little treasures brought us magic for the first time: the “awww’s” and “ooooh’s” from my girls were so adorable and soon our living room was a Christmas wonderland (which brought me a strange look from my loving husband, saying ‘You bought MORE of this stuff? Come on, REALLY?!’). But my hubby is a wise man so he didn’t say a single word.
I won’t tell you all the details of every day I had in my perfect “Christmassy”-girly-mind to make this as magical as possible for my girls but here is a summary:
- I had planned to do a Christmas craft every afternoon with them. This lasted one week and ended in occasional project-base arts my oldest showed her sisters. They had a lot of fun cutting, coloring, and gluing the wildest decorations and it was so much better than my carefully planned activities. Giggle factor: high
- We made ONE batch of cookies two days before Christmas Eve because we didn’t have the time to do it earlier. Of course, there was no icing any longer in the shops, so we made our own with a lot of food coloring and confectioner’s sugar. The house was a mess, mom was stressed and only my oldest enjoyed decorating the cookies. Giggle factor: medium
- THE ELF. Yes, I did it. Ruby moved in and I had So. Many. Plans. I had a list of 24 things Ruby was supposed to do in hour house. She did approximately 10 of them. The rest was either “Oh no, I forgot the elf! Again!” which ended in hectic searches for a place where she could sit before the girls would wake up (which means I had 5 minutes) or “I forgot to buy XYZ to do this activity so Ruby has to be wrapped in toilet paper/sit in the tree/read a book”. The girls loved it, though. Giggle factor: mom – medium, girls – high
- Christmas cards. I really don’t want to talk about it. I had So. Many. Plans. Again, I know. But, time went by much faster this year somehow. The results: Christmas photos – zero. Christmas cards printed – zero. Christmas cards written – zero. Christmas cards made – Hah! There is a silver lining! We made three for the teachers and one (each kid) for my parents. Now the letter only needs to arrive in Germany… (Yes! I brought it to the post office!) Giggle factor: I don’t want to talk about it.
- Neighborhood drives. This wasn’t on my list, but it will be in future for sure. Since there were no public Christmas celebrations such as parades this year, we made a couple of drives in the early evenings, enjoying all those wonderful lights in our town. The treat bag each girl had on her lap added another big layer of excitement. Giggle factor: high
- Christmas Eve. We celebrated a German Christmas which means the “Christkind” brought the presents on Christmas Eve already. Of course, our kids were confused because they also know Santa and the tradition of him “hurry down the Chirmeny tonight” like my daughter was singing – I guess her German(y) roots were calling 😉 So we hung up our stockings for Santa and I waved the Christkind goodbye as it disappeared through the open window leaving some (to many) presents behind. My plan was to let every child open a present and let the others watch, enjoying and appreciating the gift. Well, it worked for the first round. Then I gave up, collected the ripped paper and promised myself to give it another try next year. Overall giggle factor: Very high
- Christmas days: I had NO plans. Can you believe it? I couldn’t. And we had the BEST. TIME. EVER. We played. A lot. We ate. A lot. We laughed. A lot. We cuddled. A lot. We went outside, we made fun trips for a couple of hours, we watched movies cuddled up on the couch while eating our very pink (the self-made icing!) Christmas cookies. We drank hot cocoa, read a ton of books, had Skype calls with our loved ones in Germany, and the air was full of love and giggles.
Finally, I got my Christmas magic.