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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Still no sleep, but at least the tree is up

Since my last post, we've managed to get our tree out of the bag and properly decorated thanks to a small army of missionaries.  I don't know why I haven't had them over to put up my tree before!  It was up in about 15 minutes (complete with lights) and all the ornaments were up in just half an hour.  They even helped Alex to set up the tracks for a toy train that plays Christmas music as it chugs it's way around the base of the tree.  It's really cute and we've never used it before even though we've had it for years.  Alex was too young and wouldn't leave it alone but now he's old enough to use it without destroying it.

Pictured here from top left to bottom right are Elder Motes (he's in the glare), Elder Fowler, Elder Butters, and Elder Jensen.  Alex is down there in the green dinosaur pajamas, working on the train tracks with Elder Jensen.  These guys are amazing and I have to say that sharing the holidays with the missionaries has been very special.  It's really helped me to get in the spirit and I was happy to give them a chance to put up a tree with our family since they couldn't do it with their own this year.  I also gave each of them a tiny mitten to take home and hang on the little tree in their apartment.  And if any of you haven't set up your tree yet, Elder Butters is quite handy when it's time to put the star on top and I've been told that Motes is a genius with stringing lights :)

So far I've been able to stick to my holiday boycott as I've been shopping and preparing for Christmas.  If I didn't tell you about it before, I'm boycotting every store that was open for business on Thanksgiving and I will not shop there through the duration of the holiday season.  I did this last year but the list is much longer this year and I've needed to be very creative this year.  I've purchased from small businesses and etsy shops as much as possible and I've picked up most of my stocking stuffers from Trader Joe's.  I think the boys will appreciate the variety of treats they get this year.

I'm also making several hand made or 'from scratch' gifts for family and friends, and encouraging the boys to do that as well.  I've got a new board on Pinterest with some fun holiday ideas that you can do with your kids if you're searching for something.  If you receive something you see on that board, pretend you're seeing it for the first time, okay?

This is also the time of year when the elementary does a mini shopping mall at school for the children so they can buy inexpensive gifts for their family.  It's a really cute idea and it raises a little money for the PTA.  It only takes about $5 for Alex to get presents for the entire family but this year he forgot and spent all of his money (which is to say, my money) on three gifts for me and one for himself, lol.  Just completely forgot about Dad and Dante. 

Per usual, when he got all of his gifts home he couldn't wait to give them to me.  I told him to wait for Christmas or I wouldn't have any presents to open with the family, but he started to sob about how he just "wanted to give me a present".  How was I supposed to respond to that?!  I had no choice but to back down and let him give me the gift, on the grounds that he wait to give me the other two.  He got me a ring.  He said it was shiny and silver, and sparkly with 'jewels' in the eyes.  I don't think he realized that it's a skull, lol.  I'm wearing it proudly.

Oh, and last but not least: if you want a copy of The Missionary Hat, it is now available for free on Ravelry.  Elder Motes wears his all the time and says it's quite warm :)  Please feel free to download a copy for yourself and knit for a missionary (or non-missionary) near you who's in need of a quick, simple, warm winter hat.