"Is your house on fire Clark?"

"No Aunt Bethany, that's the Christmas lights"
Brad has turned in to Clark Griswold. Below is a photo of our house at night. It lights up the block! We live in a neighborhood with a lot of elderly people who hardly decorate, so to say that our house stands out would be quite the understatement! I think we really liven the place up. I just hope no passing airplanes mistake us for the airport! It is really so bright, that the other night at 2am Keating woke up and thought it was time to wake up. We forgot to turn off a section of them before bed. Yes, they are plugged in to different outlets because they trip the breaker... I told you, my husband is truly Sparky. We have since made sure that everything is turned off before bed. I'm sure our neighbors that go to bed at 7pm appreciate the nights when we forget to turn them off!
Christmas has been fun this year now that Keating is a little older. He still doesn't understand the whole Santa hooplah, but he loves the lights and the ornaments and the homemade treats. In the next few days I hope to get the energy together to decorate cookies with him.
We have had quite the time keeping him away from the Christmas tree. Our tree is quite bare this year because I took off a lot of the breakable balls that normally help to fill in its sparse false branches. I wish I had bought more non breakable ornaments, but at this point, I think it is a little too late. Maybe next year! Keating has been walking up to the tree and says "no, no, no!" Think he has been told that a time or two lately? =) I keep toying with the idea of getting a real tree next year. They smell so amazing. We will see!
He also loved the fake snow in my lanterns that used to sit on our kitchen table. After a few mishaps, they have been moved outside for the remainder of Christmas.
I have been wanting to start a yearly ornament tradition for Keating, and next year for Archer. (It is a little surreal to write that!) Growing up, my Nannie would send each of her Grandkids an ornament with their name and the year engraved on it. I remember waiting for it to arrive every year to see what it would be. Now those special ornaments adorn our tree, and remind me of her when I look at them. I think it would be special to start that for my own children. Does anyone else do something like this to commemorate the year?
Every year since we have been married, my mom gives us a gorgeous swarovski snowflake ornament. Thanks mom! This will be our 4th one! Where does time go?
I also head out when the first decorations go up in August November and purchase the yearly Wallace sleigh bell to add to our growing collection. Do you have a growing ornament collection? Are there any annual ornaments I am missing out on? Any that would be great for kids? I love how our Christmas traditions have started to evolve as our little family has grown. There is a lot of pressure at Christmas to make everything perfect. I know that some of my decorations are a little sparse and there are tons of things that I wish we had time to do, but not enough hours in the day to do them. These things aren't what is important, and I have to keep reminding myself of that. Years from now looking back, these days will be treasured exactly as they are. I won't look back thinking I wish I had more balls on my tree. I will think about the precious little boy running around in footie pajamas on Christmas morning, and be blown away by how fast time has flown. ... okay enough emotion, I'm tearing up.
I hope everyone has a great week leading up to Christmas!