Keeping families connected across hallways, miles and milestones

Yes, I’m guilty of Christmas Creep

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This weekend, I’ve done something I’ve never done before.


I’ve even lamented those that have done the very exact same thing.


I’ve posted scathing facebook posts  on the holiday creep that happens at retail stores.  The Halloween decorations before Labor Day, Christmas decorations while skipping Thanksgiving, Valentines candy out before my kids have even finished their Halloween candy.


And apparently, I am not the only one posting on social media my previous disdain for Christmas Creep.


But this weekend, my family & I decorated for Christmas.  Yes, I am guilty of Christmas creep.


I moved Christmas music to my default Pandora station.  And I’m pretty sure that if the Christmas tree lots were already open we very well may have a large, beautiful tree in our living room as well.


Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Thanksgiving.  The simplicity of bringing family together, sharing a wonderful meal, hopefully playing games, watching a football game and the only present being our presence.

Thanksgiving 2014 in Spain

Thanksgiving 2014. Buitrago del Lozoya, Spain

But this year, I’m not willing to wait until after to Thanksgiving to start celebrating Christmas.


Admittedly, I felt a little sheepish as my family unpacked box after box of Christmas decorations.  Some of which we hadn’t seen in years.


But then I read a very timely article on the Huffington Post giving us all permission to start celebrating Christmas now.  I smiled when I saw it.


You see, my family spent the last year in Spain living in a small village with no other American (or English speaking) Expats.  The experience of living aboard was a positive experience filled with lots of fond memories and an extraordinary amount of family bonding time.


And although, it’s been years since we traveled “home” for the holidays, our Christmas in Spain last year was sad and lonely.


We missed our traditions.  We missed reading all the wonderful Holiday books we would check out of the library.  In fact, I paid double so that I could get our favorite Holiday book, Holly & Ivy delivered to us in Spain.  Try as I might, I was unable to acquire my second favorite “book” tradition.  The Best Christmas Pagaent Ever on Audio Book.  I simply love Elaine Stritch’s voice as she reads the book.


Every Christmas card that arrived was displayed in the windows and remained there long after the holidays (May, to be exact).


I did manage to get us a small fake Christmas tree.  And I purposefully chose multi-color lights, bright blue garland and blue ornaments; none of which I would allow on my actual Christmas tree.  (Simply, getting a tree was an accomplishment.  While U.S. stores start selling Christmas in October, the large, big-box chain store I visited outside of Madrid had one, measly isle devoted to Christmas)

Spanish Christmas Tree


With the six to nine hour time difference, we even missed out on livestreaming our Christmas as we typically do.  We didn’t even get to talk to all of our family members on Christmas Day.


So this year, I am wholeheartedly celebrating the Christmas season earlier than ever before.


I am delighting in the cinnamon scented pine cones and Christmas tree scented candles.


And I soaked in the children asking about each decoration as it was unpacked.  Retelling stories of my youth and Christmas gone by.  Sharing the stories of my grandmother, who handmade so many of the decorations I have today.


I have the Best Christmas Pageant Ever on hold at the library (WAIT, No! I instead just ordered it from Amazon).  I am going to read Holiday books to my children for hours in front of our fireplace.  I am going to visit the light display at the Bellevue Botanical Garden.  I am going to take my kids to Snowflake Lane.  My oldest two & I are walking in the Seattle Thanksgiving Macy’s Day Parade.  We will go see Twas the Night by Studio East.  We will watch Christmas Vacation, Elf, Charlie Brown Christmas and many more!


We will visit with Santa and I will snap no less than 50 pictures in hopes of getting one with everyone smiling.

Screaming child on Santa's Lap


I will invite every family member from across the country to celebrate Christmas Day with us!


I will write my holiday cards by hand.  We will make dozens and dozens of cookies and chocolates to send to our family in Michigan and Florida.  We will create handmade decorations that years from now I will be able to look back on and see the progression of our creations as our children have grown.


We will enjoy the holidays, warm from the fire and warm in our hearts;  immersed in the traditions we started over a decade ago as we eagerly awaited our first child to be born.


And, I will no longer begrudge others for their Christmas creep.

Bellevue Botanical Garden


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Circle Cut Out Amanda

 I am a lover of campfires and road trips, long summer days spent outdoors and long winter nights reading by the fire. I blog about living far from family and ways to keep connected. And on an given day, I may regret living far from family while also being thankful for where I am.  Find out more!
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