This Christmas was perfectly balanced. We did everything that was important to me, but I resisted the urge to overschedule or overdo.We visited the tree farm, and put up about half of our decorations. Enough that it felt like Christmas, but not so much I was overwhelmed. And I chose the ones that either wouldn't break or wouldn't break my heart, so that I didn't have to worry about quick little hands as we walked by.
We went to the mall once (and only once) to check out the decorations and find her Christmas outfits. (While there, we made the second out of three visits with Santa. We definitely covered that tradition this year.)I made the munchkin's stocking, but left the embellishments for another year. I did line it with super soft corduroy from my local quilt shot. Even though she isn't nearly old enough to grasp the importance, she enjoyed pulling things out of it. It was also her only gift from us. We filled it with spoons, rice cereal, a teething toy and a new Dr. Seuss onesie. She cut her first tooth the week before and has been dying to eat solid food. So, the cereal was the best gift we could give her. At five months, she was not surprisingly more interested in eating the paper than in any of the gifts.
It was also the only handmade item given this year. Gifts were lovingly selected and carefully wrapped, but they came from a store. This wasn't the year for handmade for me, and the season was so much more fun because I recognized that. The same goes for baking. I wanted Christmas cookies, but I was fine with getting the dough from the grocery store and just decorating them.
But, we set aside a day for a special trip with Grandma and Aunt Megan. That was important enough for the extra effort.
By the evening of the 23rd, there was nothing left to do but watch The Grinch and drink hot chocolate. By the afternoon of the 25th, we were curled up together reading books. And every hour in between was spent enjoying my girl and her first Christmas.
I'm sure I'll miss it some years, but I sure hope we have many more Christmases with just this lovely mix of important traditions and quiet pleasure. I really feel like we got it right this year.