But when you have children, things change. For me, Christmas got better, if that was even possible. It took my enjoyment of Christmas to a whole new level.
I have always been grateful for every year that we are together and healthy to celebrate amongst our family. We have had some close calls in the past but thankfully, Alexa is doing wonderfully right now. Ironically, she has remained the healthiest of all the Morales' during the month of December. We were one of the lucky ones to be able to celebrate Christmas at home.
Alexa really understands all the joys of Christmas this year so I really tried to go all out and ensure that we made the most of it.
We continued with the family tradition that we started last year. Our Elf on the Shelf, Twinkles came back from the North Pole to hang out in our house for December. I know this little Elf is quite controversial. Some people hate it, others love it. I happen to be in the boat with those that love it.
More often than not, Alexa woke up at the crack of dawn to hunt down our Twinkles and see what she had been up to while we slept. And yes, it can be quite tiring to come up with new ideas (realistic and age appropriate ones at that) and to then remember to put her out at night or before Alexa woke up. But when I saw Alexa's reactions to Twinkles new adventure each morning, I knew that an inconvenience of 25 days was little price to pay. Here are pictures of some of our favourite Twinkle adventures. Alexa's expressions are priceless.
And then we moved onto "The Twelve Books of Christmas". This was a new tradition that we started this year. I wanted to do something to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas, but wanted to stay away from Advent Chocolate Calendars as well as purchasing gifts. Let's face it, she was going to get enough at Christmas and I wanted this to focus more on family.
"The Twelve Books of Christmas" was perfect. Alexa was re-gifted a whole bunch of books by her aunt, so they were all new to her. I wrapped them up and put a number from 1 to 12 on each. With the help of some friends, we created ornaments, again with numbers 1 to 12 on the inside. Each night, Alexa got to go pick out an ornament, open it up and find the wrapped book with the matching number. We got to snuggle up and read the book before bedtime. Alexa really enjoyed this. She is very much into books, so it was a perfect tradition to start.
We also got to do some other Christmas crafts, decorated some gingerbread men and did lots of baking.
I love the smell of freshly baked goods in the house. So yummy!
And we threw in another Disney on Ice special.....
We hope your Christmas was as merry as was ours!
I cannot really fathom that there is one more day left in 2013. It has been quite a year. I still get tears in my eyes when I think of all that we have been through this year. I am not sure that will go away anytime soon, maybe never.
When I look back, it seems like a lifetime ago yet the memories are as fresh as if they were yesterday. Does that make any sense?
And then there are some times, like when I look at this picture that I see just how far we have come, just how much my baby girl has grown. I see how much she has overcome, and how positively radiant she remains through it all.
It is times like these, that I know we were lead down the right path. We were steered in the right direction and I am forever thankful to have been given the strength to make the hardest decision of my life.
I thank you for being with us during 2013, and hope you will stick around for 2014. I am hoping it is not nearly as exciting, but it is sure to be filled with lots of love, hope and faith!
Wishing all our Liver and UCD friends, a prosperous year filled with happiness and above all, health!
Happy New Year!