Monday, December 7, 2009

a weekend of firsts

It was the first weekend of December, and we had several firsts here as well. We had our first snow. We had our first weekend in what feels like a long time in which Brian didn't have to work at all on Saturday. And, unfortunately, we had our first stomach bug of the year. But, in spite of that, we still managed to fit in several other happy first moments.

For the first time, we went to a cut-your-own tree farm for our Christmas tree. We bought it at Reeves Christmas Tree Farm from some wonderfully friendly folks there. Brian cut down his first tree, and Dora helped us pick it out. It's not her first Christmas tree, of course, but it's going to be the first Christmas where she's really more aware of what's going on, so it already feels different. The sweet lady at the tree farm gave Dora her first candy cane and, against my better judgment, I let Dora have it.

That afternoon, while everyone - baby, husband, dogs, cats - napped, I turned my dining room table into a mini-sewing studio and finished my first Christmas sewing project. It's not the first thing I've ever sewed, but it's definitely the most complicated. I only made a few major errors, most of which I repaired, and overall I think it looks pretty good for a beginner. I'll post a picture of the finished product after Christmas - I don't want to ruin any surprises.

On Sunday evening, when we were almost all better, Dora got to open the windows of her first Advent calendar. We were a few days late getting it started, but that's ok. It's a very cute Eric Carle pop-up calendar that Brian picked out for her. She loved looking under the little windows, looking at the little Christmas tree and presents underneath it. I have wonderful memories of Advent calendars from when I was a kid - sparkly, glittery windows with little surprises for every day. I'm so excited that we're starting that tradition with her.

We're starting earlier than usual getting ready for Christmas this year, and I don't even know why. Maybe it's our little inquisitive girl talking about Christmas lights all the time. Maybe it's my overly-ambitious list of handmade items I'm trying to finish. Or, maybe it's the fact that, among all these other firsts I've listed here, we're finally planning to have our first Christmas at home. No travel on Christmas Day, no truck-stop meals, no packing all the gifts in the car. While we will miss those we won't have the chance to see in Ohio, all of us - the dogs and cats included - will be so happy to wake up Christmas morning, enjoy the little Christmas tree that we cut down ourselves, and create our first little homemade, home-based Christmas.

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