In my effort to squeeze as much holiday fun out of this season as possible we decided to have friends over to make gingerbread houses for FHE tonight. We decided to just do the little kits they are selling in all of the stores.
In some ways that was nice - the gingerbread is all cut cute for you and it comes with a tray you can just stick the house into. It's also great because I didn't have to make that nasty Royal Icing or get out pastry bags - the frosting was all made and in these little tubes you used.
But in other ways I didn't love it.....I would have liked to have some different choices for the candies. They were fine....but there wasn't any chocolate! (Sheez!)
Overall it was fun though. Cory thought it was a contest to see whose house could be done first - which he thought involved frosting Hunter and my house for us (and sloppily I might add!). Gabe decided to tear off the roof of his house before we were even done (it's the photo in the center - after we repaired things.) And Hunter was content as long as we were shoving gumdrops in his mouth. It was fun to be with friends and a fun tradition we might keep doing.
Tomorrow night we don't have anything holiday planned (yet) - but we are having some friends kids over - so we might have to figure some fun Christmas-y thing to do for the evening.
Part of the reason I'm trying to suck as much holiday cheer out of this year is that it's a tougher Christmas for everyone financially. If I start thinking about that aspect of things I get sad and wish there was more I could do to help others. When I start thinking about presents and that aspect of the season - I get sad that I don't have much of a budget this year to buy the presents I'd like to for family and friends. Or if I start thinking of things I'd like for Christmas I find myself getting greedy and thinking about all I want instead of focusing on all of my blessings I have right in front of me. Instead of focusing so much on presents - both giving and getting - I am trying to focus on memories and time we spend together. When I ask my boys 15 years from now what they remember about Christmas I hope they will say that they remember doing things together as much as possible. I'd even be ok if they said, "Our crazy mom always made us do cheesy family stuff together". That would be just fine with me!