Christmas is coming!

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And boy, are we having a hard time containing ourselves this year!!

Making ginger cookies…

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Getting out the Christmas trunk… (the trunk from India circa 1998)…

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(this is a really cute person…)

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Playing “drums” on pillows to Christmas music in the kitchen…

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Wearing Santa Hats to the dinner table.  Every day.

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Now that we’ve been doing this “family” thing a while, I can see memories starting to emerge.  Jake and Eli are old enough now to remember things, and to look for certain ornaments and decorations when we open up the trunk.  There are the Santas from Kyiv and the stockings from Oma, the sleigh from Uncle Paul, and the ornaments, one from each country we’ve visited.  We tell stories about each place that our family has been, and started writing them down this year.  Even Mike and I were forgetting!  We have Steak Soup for dinner from Mimi, and the elves visit from Iceland, and the mitten at the top of our tree came from Starbucks.  We never got around to getting a star.  Is the ritual sealed, now 11 years since Mike and I brought home our first tree together and topped it with a mitten?  Will our tree always have a mitten?

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We listen to the Charlie Brown Christmas CD, then sing along to Harry Belafonte, and now the boys know most of the words. Jake’s favorite Christmas carol is The 12 Days of Christmas.  Eli’s favorite is Silver Bells.  All of us LOVE the Jacquie Lawson advent calendar, and we make hot cocoa from real milk and cocoa powder, and drink it with candy canes under the tree.  Then we read Bear’s First Christmas, The Polar Express, The Grinch, or Snow Party, and set out the yellow Dutch slipper-shoes from Holland next to the fireplace for the elves.

Only one thing missing.

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