Gratituesday: Getting the Christmas Season off to a Great Start

Last night, we spent time putting up our Christmas decorations. This morning…we woke up to snow. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

Therefore, I declared it to be a hot cocoa morning. The boys didn’t argue. :)

Wow, check out the film already forming on the hot cocoa. 
And someone reallllly needs to iron the Christmas tablecloth. 
Obviously, my pictures will never appear on the covers of magazines. 
Yay for you – you get to be a part of the real world I live in… :)

I was hoping to get some baking done today too, so right after breakfast, I began stabbing our big pumpkin. The boys thought it was awesome. I’m so glad I could impress them with my pumpkin violence. (Have you tried this easy method for cooking a whole pumpkin?)

Once the pumpkin was in the oven, I did school work with the boys, then sent them off to work on their individual assignments while I started on some website work. The boys all got right to work and finished early for once. Why? Because they had been promised (by me) that I would take them to do their Christmas shopping this afternoon. They were soooooo excited! (And had to show much patience because I wasn’t finished working before they all had their assignments done and were waiting impatiently for me to head to the store.)

Finally at about 3:15, I was able to head out. Malachi got to go first. He picked out a gift for each brother, and one for Daddy, and we headed home. I dropped him off, and picked up Elias. We shopped for brothers and dad. I brought Elias home and picked up Justus. We shopped. I dropped him off at home and picked up Asa. We shopped. We arrived back home at 8:30. 

And then I collapsed.

Not really. I was a little bit exhausted (and starving), but that one-on-one time with each boy was priceless. And seeing their generosity as they pick out gifts that their brothers would like (while spending their own hard earned money) melts my heart every year. We began this marathon shopping tradition about four or five years ago, and we all just love it! (Dad will take all the boys shopping for Mom in a few weeks – also a fun tradition everyone enjoys.)

And so, we are officially feeling quite Christmas-y around here. The pumpkin is ready to be made into pies and muffins. Presents are hidden in closets and everyone is holding on to fun secrets about the gifts they found. The kitchen is a mess and boxes threw up all over the living room. Oh wait. Let’s not go there.

 Let the Christmas season begin! (After I get a good night’s rest.)

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  1. says

    Thanks for the link-up Laura. The pictures of the hot cocoa brought back childhood memories! Your 5-shopping spree with your sons sounded exciting but I can imagine how tired you must have been afterward ! God bless you and have a very beautiful Tuesday.
    Gertrude @ A Chosen Remnant


  2. Lisa says

    so just out of curiosity do you give your boys allowance? or how do they ‘get’ their earned money? thanks


    Laura Reply:

    We give or boys a small allowance, beginning at age 7, until they are able to earn their own money in other ways. Our older two boys don’t receive allowance anymore because they earn good money mowing lawns and being soccer referrees. Our younger two don’t have much opportunity for income so they get a small allowance each month to help them learn to manage money.


    Laura Reply:

    And every once in a while, we give them a little extra for jobs that are “above and beyond” the norm.


  3. says

    Each year I love reading about your tradition. I sure wish we had done something like that 34 years ago. It’s a wonderful tradition. Hope many Mom’s of youngster will start their own traditions like this.
    God Bless you Laura.


  4. says

    That sounds like a fun tradition, do the boys pick one brother to buy for or is it like a Secret Santa thing?

    This week, I posted my “month of thankfulness” list. I sure do have a lot to be thankful for and the Facebook tradition of taking the month of November to list everything you’re thankful for has really helped me to remember that.


    Laura Reply:

    They buy for all of their brothers, which is really sweet (and makes for several small presents for them each to open!).


    Rachel Mitchell Reply:

    that is sweet! great memories being made, I’m sure


  5. says

    I loved reading about how priceless your one on one time with your boys was…I have three boys (5, almost 4, 1) and we’ve been trying to be more intentional about spending one on one time with them. It really makes such a HUGE difference in our relationship with each of them.


  6. says

    We do the same with our girls. I’ll be taking them shopping for Daddy, Mamaw, Pap, Uncle and each other soon. Then Daddy will take them shopping for me. They can’t wait! I can’t imagine taking 4 at separate times. Go, Mom!


  7. says

    Love this tradition. I borrowed your shopping for back to school supplies tradition… I hope you don’t mind if I borrow this one, too! Blessings!


    Laura Reply:

    Please do borrow the idea! It’s so much fun. :)


  8. says

    Laura, after reading your blog for several years now, I, too, have enjoyed following along each year with your holiday tradition of taking your boys shopping. As much as I’d love to get it all done in one day (and I could since we only have two still at home), the long drive into town — twice and back again — would just about do me in. But. I think I might give it a try this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration. And don’t you worry one bit about that tablecloth! :)




  9. Lisa says

    It was only 12 degrees outside when I made breakfast this morning and I used your hot chocolate recipe for a warm breakfast drink. It was SO delicious! Thanks for a wonderful recipe, Laura.


  10. Megan says

    Greetings from North Carolina! I am thankful for the smell of my Christmas tree. I can’t wait to see it all lit up and decorated. Enjoy the snow! Us mountain folk hope to have some soon! :)


  11. Shellie D. says

    I think its wonderful your children are willing (and probably excited) to work to earn the money, and use some of it to do these things for each other. We have raised our children the same way and it makes such a difference in their attitudes toward one another and others. They also tend to appreciate things more and are more thoughtful in their wants instead of wanting EVERYTHING or the news ‘gotta-haves’ out there. Good job mom and dad!! :)

    And thank you for allowing me to link up my blog here today too. Its under Pebe. What a joy to be able to share what we’re thankful for!!


  12. says

    Love reading about your traditions and your family life! Quite honestly, I think you’re one cool mom! So enjoy your blog! Linking up today for Gratituesday!


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