I have a two year old and I'm due with my second in December. Maybe it's just that I'm a bit older, or maybe it's that I didn't have a small child to run after last time, but man am I more tired this pregnancy. Also, having a small, spirited child means that large, elaborated Christmas trees and decor are kind of pointless (or asking for disaster). So no tree for us this year. And probably no tree for us for a couple years, in which time I'd like to have made/gotten personal ornaments that will hold memories and meaning when put on our tree. All my decorations went up in a couple hours, and that was with constant toddler interuptions. I have a candle with a wreath, some wall decals, I decorated our desk hutch with our Christmas movies, books, and the few decor pieces we had, and I made a little wall tree with Christmas paper plates. We have a few special ornaments, which I put on a couple ornament holders in our hallway.
I have all my Christmas shopping done, other than whatever me and dh will decide to do for each other. I shop throughout the year, but it has become a source of stress and clutter for me. I wasn't as organized this year and I had to buy more things new than I would otherwise. Thus, I've decided every family is getting a basket with homemade goodies, a christmas cd/movie/game, and maybe some small things like coloring books for the kiddoes. That's it! I feel like I have to keep up with grandparents, santa, and everyone else and it's wearing me out.
Wrapping paper-I'm letting my toddler color on some plain brown wrap, which we'll probably do this week. I'm hoping it will cut down on waste as relatives and friends will want to keep the momento of her drawings. Plus it's a fun activity for us to do that doesn't take a ton of effort.
I am sort of wanting to make some ornaments, maybe buy a kit, but it's for just us and I'm not feeling pressured by time constraints since I don't need them this year.
I hope to get the gifts wrapped up by Thanksgiving so I can sit back and watch Christmas movies until it's time to birth my new little bundle.
And as far as all the festivities-I'm only going to what I'm comfortable going to. If hubby wants to make appearances with the kiddo/kids I'm more than fine with that, as it leaves me even more time to decompress.
We always did a christmas tree anyway. We don't get real elaborate, but I do love to have a tree. When we have a really little one in the house that we can't keep away from the tree, we just get a small one and put it up on the table. By small, I mean a 4 ft REAL tree. one like this: http://likeabluecandy.com/pictures//home/sophia/sophia274.jpg
beyond that, we don't do a lot of decorating. We do christmas cookies (though, this year I'll have to figure out some dairy-free recipes b/c Ds1 appears to have a dairy allergy/sensitivity), and have traditions we do outside the house like going to look at christmas lights and feeding the birds on christmas morning...
Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise (1/06), Oliver Matthew (7/07) and Avery Michael (3/10)
Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.
we are seriously not good at christmas. heck, i'm pretty terrible with holiday decorating anyway. last year i did greenery and that was it (in vases and such). it was a nice touch.
This year, because it is summer, i might do wild flower bouquets (i have fallen in love with a number of NZ weeds! LOL), and then origami ornaments as well. Oh, and of course, bees wax candles.
We are simplifying gifts by *a lot.* One gift for DS, one for DH, and one for my aunt. I assume there will also be one gift for me. And of course, we'll do a bit of sweets--chocolates at least.
As far as decorations...
We cut down a tree and decorate it with lights (that's my favorite part!) and a few things - candy canes, pine cones, etc.
Greens, a wreath and some soy candles.
And there is a strand of paper stars at 10,000 Villages that I have to decide if I like them enough to buy and then store...
And I *love* the holidays. More and more, as I find other ways to make it even more simple.