Monday, December 07, 2009

Countdown to Christmas

It's Monday and there's much more white stuff than the last time I wrote. It's really really cold. But for some reason, it's okay. It's getting me in the mood to get necessary things done - finally. I definitely won't be joining any home parades this year. I only did one tree this year, and I haven't put out a lot of my things because they are just too tempting for little tiny fingers. The first time the littles got up from their naps and saw all the things hanging on the tree, they did a beeline to the lower branches and began their work. I am attempting to teach "no" instead of moving the ornaments up higher.

I have three nativity sets that are designed for child's play. With four players, it gets really interesting - pieces everywhere! But they are sure having fun.

I have had an amazingly productive day - finished decorating, cleaned up the mess the kiddoes left yesterday, did laundry, went to the gym, did a bit of shopping (not for gifts), ordered some gifts on line, got sidetracked in the basement and actually made some progress on getting rid of the chaos down there (believe it or not), AND fixed a good dinner. Dear DC was so pleasantly surprised when he walked in the door - I haven't been a very good homemaker lately.

I have much more shopping to do yet, and don't know what or where. But I know I'll figure it out. In the meantime, I am doing what I really want to do to celebrate this blessed season. It may sound crazy when I give you a rundown on what I've been doing and will be doing, but every one of these things is a choice I have made to make my Christmas what I want it to be - a celebration of what it really means to me.

  • Every Tuesday for the last two months (plus some extra rehearsals), I have been singing with a group of 95 people for 2.5 -3 hours. The director of the Loveland Choral Society has been doing this for 19 years - I don't know about other years, but this year he chose 19 wonderful pieces of music. At least 3/4 of the music is sacred. All of it is challenging and fun to sing. We have two rehearsals this week. There are 4 performances next week-end, but I will be singing in 3 of them - we have to take our turns sitting out because there are too many of us to be on the platform - fire code. So I'll be singing on Friday evening, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday afternoon, sitting out Saturday evening, which works well since I have the girls on Saturday nights.

  • Saturday between the two concerts we are having a nice dinner for the choir and orchestra. It's a time to relax between concerts without having to go home or worry about dinner. Even though I won't be singing in the evening concert, I'm definitely going to enjoy this event.

  • Wednesday, December 1 - Care Bear's school program was very early this year. There are many elementary schools that want to use the high school auditorium, so somebody has to be first and early. It was fun watching the first and second graders, but DC and I took the twins home to put them to bed, so we didn't see the rest. Care Bear is the one in the red sleeveless dress with the plaid sash.

  • Saturday, December 5 - annual Ladies' Tea at church - a beautiful occasion every year. I didn't get any pictures this year, unfortunately. Each of the tables is decorated by a different woman, and they do a fabulous job. Delicious food, lovely harp music as we ate, wonderful speaker, good fellowship.

  • Sunday, December 6 - I took the big girls downtown to the community sing-along at the Rialto, the same place we'll be performing this week-end. This was a great time of just singing Christmas songs for about an hour. We had hot chocolate, cookies, and candy canes. It was really fun and festive.

  • I mentioned to Care Bear that something was going on at the library. Of course, we had to head over there. Among the other things going on, they had a contest for the kids to find large Christmas jingle bells, hidden all over the library. We had so much finding them, and found 21 of them. I don't know how many there were, but I think they did a great job. We'll see if they win anything. We got into parts of the library we've never been before.

  • Friday noon, December 11 - I plan to go hear my two good friends from church who sing in the women's chorale in the town north of here. They do their big concert at the exact same time as my Sunday concert, so I'll attend this one, held in an art gallery.

  • Sunday evening, December 13 - "Coming Home for Christmas" at our church - many families will be doing skits, songs, and whatever they want to do. The children are preparing something, which I'm looking forward to seeing. Snacks afterward, so I'll need to come up with something yummy.

  • Tuesday noon, December 15 - the chorale will be singing for the Rotary Club, and eating lunch with them as well.

  • Thursday, December 17 - Sema's concert at her church.

  • Saturday, December 19 - Care Bear and Feisty are working on a program with another church as well - we have to go see it, of course.

  • Sunday morning, December 20 - sanctuary choir will celebrate with a few wonderful songs - no cantata this year. But still enjoyable.

  • I'm hoping to get some cookies made and sent to Kev and the guys at Teen Challenge. I'm going to make his favorite peanut butter with the Hershey's Kiss in the middle. But I'll cheat with Sam's mix. I need to have the girls over to make sugar cookies, too. But again, Sam's comes to the rescue with the basic dough mix.

    I know it sounds crazy, but everything above gives me pleasure! It doesn't make me feel stress. Everything except shopping. I really don't like shopping. I just wish I had some good ideas!

    Have a great week!


PEA said...

You're right, Dawn, we must do what gives us the most pleasure at Christmas time and I think all these events you plan on attending are just perfect. I enjoy baking and decorating but then if I had to choose what really puts me in the Christmas mood, I would have to say it's the Christmas concerts! Especially if there are children involved, just to see the look on their faces makes me feel that magical feeling of the season.

We always seem to worry if we'll get everything done in time for Christmas but then we always manage to do so:-) If some things don't get done, well so be it...being with family and friends is what is more important.

I'm with you, I really don't enjoy shopping for gifts because I never know what to get everyone! lol This year it's mostly gift cards since that's what everyone seems to want so it makes it much easier. Even with Lily, her other grandma and aunt buy so many clothes and toys for her, it's ridiculous what that child has already at a year old!! So, we're giving her money to put in her education fund account. If they were coming over here for Christmas, then of course I would buy a couple of toys and outfits but they'll be spending it with her mom and sister once again.

Just enjoy this wonderful time of year, dear Dawn, in any way that is closest to your heart:-) xoxo

grammy said...

i am so tired just reading all that (o:
do you ever feel this bogged down feeling of "i wish i did more with the grands"
i do a lot... but there always seem to be something else i should do. want to do. I need therapy(o:
will you do the choir again next year after you know how much it takes?
blessings sweet grandma blogger friend of mine.

groovyoldlady said...

Sheesh...and people say I'm busy! Sounds like a grueling, yet festive schedule of fun, barring big, mean snowstorms.

We're expecting a doozy of a storm today which will axe one of the kids' choir rehearsals.

I haven't been doing much singing other than a guest appearance at a concert last Sunday, but I may attend the unrehearsed Messiah sing-a-long on the 20th. It sounds like a blast!

Needled Mom said...

You schedule sounds very hectic, Dawn, but it is definitely made easier by the fact that they are choices and things that you so dearly love doing. I am so with you on the shopping this year. I still have much to do and it gets more difficult as the kids get older.

I have heard about your really cold storm. Our friends in CS wrote about the snow and cold, cold, cold!!!!! I know it came as no surprise to us because the storm that you guys got came from us and it has been a brutal week of freezing temps here. VERY strange for December. I can't imagine wht the rest of the winter will bring.

I am going to be in your boat tomorrow as we are going to have our grandson (twins age) for five days and I am worried about my tree too. I always put the non breakable ornaments on the bottom, but it will be the constant watching over. Oh well!!!!

Take it easy and try to enjoy the season for its true meaning (as I see you are).

Hootin' Anni said...

Hello my sweet Dawn! You posted in my comment...12 below?!!! OmGoodness. I couldn't handle that any more as you said. I almost froze on the beach this morning with the wind and the 40 degree temps. Of course the humidity plays a factor in that.

You ARE keeping yourself busy!! Which is good. I personally think that keeping active like you're doing helps keep the stress level down...especially when you're enjoying what you're doing.

Cookies...that's a winner. I made just a few peanut butter cookies for Bud. I'm gonna make the Mexican Wedding Cakes later this month, and some homemade pecan toffee bars and of course, the ritual of making Rice Krispie Treats. I had to laugh at the part where you organized in the basement? Reason is, I cleaned out the master's a walk-in closet and I was hanging clean clothes up after doing the laundry the other day...well, behind my house robe, I saw a lizard on the wall!!!! [I brought plants in from the patio to keep them from freezing and I didn't put them in the garage, 'cause it wouldn't have done any I strung out a large Mexican Rug on the carpet, and set them in the closet---the lizard I know came from the planters]...anyway, when I saw the lizard I yelled for Bud to come to the rescue. He tried catching it, broke its tail and scurried even farther back along the wall...behind clothes. Which made me get ALL the clothes out of there and clean it up...I did NOT want to put on a pair of jeans and have a lizard in one of the legs! rofl.

Great post, Dawn, keep it busy and joyful, as I know you will.

Hootin' Anni said...

LOL...glad you enjoyed that ditty. Poor lizard indeed. We were both well with a shoe! And Bud with a fly swatter. ;o)

A Hint of Home said...

Hi Dawn,
Don't you just love Sam's. I have been there a lot lately. Makes life a little easier.
Care Bear looks cute in her program.
It sounds like your concert practice is going well. Ours is this Sun.
Merry Christmas!

Sharon Lynne said...

Being involved in this choir sounds so exciting! I'm glad you like all the songs. Christmas music is so beautiful. I'm glad that the word "Christmas" is in so many songs.

The "Happy Holiday" people cannot never delete those carols.

You are totally in the Christmas Spirit with all your activities. I'm not doing well in that area. I still have pumpkins and squashes sitting around. But I did get three strings of Christmas lights up around our front bushes.

Have have a great time singing this weekend!

Robin said...

I love that you are doing the things you love, the things that say Christmas to you. That sounds healthy to me!
I wish I could come and hear you sing! I know you will do a wonderful job.
Hiding jingle bells at the library sounds like such fun. I will have to keep these types of ideas in mind for when my grands are a little bigger. I have my first granma tree this year. You know, the kind that is only decorated from the middle up!

Denise said...

I hate shopping...... Just hate it.... wish I had someone to do it for me...... No such luck!

Have a Merry merry Christmas girl and enjoy yourself.........

Linda said...

It doesn't sound crazy to ma at all Dawn. Those are all the kinds of things I love doing during this wonderful season.
We are home, crashed out in front of the tv right now after singing three times (sat evening and two services this morning). It was amazing. We are pooped!!
How's your throat doing? We couldn't sing another time if we had to today!! Think I'll have a cup of tea.

Linda said...

That's supposed to be "me" not "ma". See - told you I was tired...

Gigi said...

Good heavens...I'm worn out just reading your to-do list!!!!! Enjoy the days leading up to the Holy Night and don't forget to breathe!!

Midlife Mom said...

Oh my, you are one busy gal! I still think that you are part Energizer Bunny! Don't you just love the singing at Christmas time, well any time for that matter but at Christmas it is even more special. My niece Funsize has been working with all the different groups and solo's at our church as she is the church pianist. I enjoy hearing her play. She started lessons as a very young gal.

It's supposed to get really cold here again Wednesday and Thursday. I hope Kev has a good heavy coat! Was he here last year during the winter or did he come in the spring? Time so gets away from me!

Well I must go online and order my Hubs a new pair of Bean boots. I didn't think he wore his any more so I gave them to the yard man! He was hunting for them the other day so I guess I'd better replace them! lol!

Take care Dawn and enjoy this special season!

Maine Mom said...

All the concerts and activities sound uplifting and fun. Enjoy!