Well, it's back to work today. It was tough leaving Jacob at day care because I had so much fun with him over the weekend, particularly yesterday. He had some bedtime and overnight issues, but really, the amount of smiles and laughs I got from him totally overshadowed all of it. I wish I had some great pictures of the smiles, but he seems to stop smiling when I pull out the camera. I still need to pull them off my camera and see what I have. Hopefully soon. He's growing a ton so he's probably changed since the last time I posted pics. Sorry about that.
We did a lot of running around over the weekend to get a head start on Christmas shopping. I think I've mentioned here before that we used to do a lot of 10pm shopping trips in the past, but that we know that trips like that with both of us are probably a thing of the past since Jacob's in bed by 9:30. I did some running around on my own last night because so much of it was quick, easy, in-and-out stuff that I knew would take forever if I had to pull Jacob out of the car every time. If nothing else I had to get Craig's birthday present, so I had to be alone for that part no matter what. We still have a long way to go, but we made progress.
I didn't, however, make any progress on getting out Christmas decorations. I'm still on the fence (for the 3rd or 4th year in a row) about getting a new tree. I want a new one that's bigger than my 6-foot, $20 tree that I bought my first year on my own. It's better than you'd think, but considering the number of ornaments we have (and the number we're sure to get with a third member of the family), we definitely need a bigger tree. There are a couple I have my eye on, and I may very well go get one tonight, but regardless, I guess my evenings this week after Jacob is in bed will be spent hauling up my Rubbermaid bins of decorations and getting as many in place as I can. I am really looking forward to Jacob taking it all in.
I got to thinking this weekend about all of the holiday traditions. We already have some in place from our own experiences, but I look forward to adding more as Jacob gets older. When I was a kid I loved all of the advent services at church, from the school advent programs to the Sunday School and Candelight services on Christmas Eve. In a few years hopefully Jacob will get to do things like that at church or in school. I don't know if we'll ever get in the habit of visiting Santa (depends how creepy the mall Santas look, I suppose), but I guess we can always write letters. Maybe we'll get into baking Christmas cookies or building snowmen. Who knows what he'll take to? I do look forward to doing an advent calendar or two...I loved that as a kid and still enjoy it now, and I think the excitement of what's behind each door (on whatever calendar we use) is something every kid can appreciate. I used to like going to the Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, so maybe there's something around here like that. Who knows?
I do know that his experiences with Christmas morning are going to be different. My family was all in town, so I always woke up Christmas morning at my own house. Since we've been married we've always spent Christmas Eve with Craig's family, slept there, and headed to my parents' house by noon on Christmas Day to start a crazy day with my family. It saddens me to think that Jacob and any other future children may never have Christmas morning at our house (but maybe someday we'll get back to Buffalo), but family makes it even more special so maybe it will be cool in its own right. I did mention to Craig that we might have to work out a schedule to do every other Christmas morning at my parents' house, so both sets of grandparents can appreciate the Christmas morning excitement. That would probably mean a late-night drive from Hamburg to NT every other Christmas Eve (hopefully with sleeping children in the backseat), but I think my parents would definitely appreciate it to see Jacob run down the stairs like my brother and I used to. I think we at least have a couple years before Jacob fully grasps Christmas morning and Santa, so we have time to figure it all out, but I think some of this stuff was stuff I never thought about before we had kids.
I'm sure I'll have more thoughts on this as the holiday season progresses...