After an extended trip visiting my in-laws overseas for the last couple of weeks, my family and I gratefully stumbled into our home this past weekend, ready to get back to our normal routine. Traveling is fun, but there's just something about slipping between the sheets of your own bed once you return, you know?
Of course, we've returned to our home by running headlong into the start of the holiday season, and I have to admit, I've been sort of caught unawares. And now that my daughter Alex is 4-1/2, and has a strong understanding of the Christmas season, I find myself really focused on creating tradition this year. We've already put up our tree and taken our annual Family Portrait in a Christmas Ball (shown above), but this year, more than ever, I dream of filling the house with the smells of Christmas baking, making handmade ornaments and creating memories which will last Alex's lifetime ...
Okay, so maybe my dreams are somewhat fanciful, particularly since I'm about as different from Martha Stewart as is humanly possible. Still, it appears inspiration is striking moms everywhere. Irène Nam, of the simply beautifully designed blog petit Paris mentions that she's currently in love with the book CADEAUX fabriqués avec amour par les parents pour leurs enfants (translated roughly to "GIFTS made with love by parents for their kids") -- the book is primarily written in Japanese, but that doesn't stop Irène from being moved by its amazing images and eye-candy.
And speaking of eye-candy, life artist extraordinaire Ali Edwards has recently begun her annual creation of her December Daily album. Of course, Ali is a pro when it comes to capturing the memories of the life of her young family, but it seems that this particular annual tradition of hers is one of her favourites. Says Ali:
One of the main reasons I love this project is that it allows me to both document + enjoy the season. I like to be in the moment most days of the year, but especially during December when there just seems to be a bit more magic in the universe. Taking photos of our house and our activities only added to my joy last year.
I'm not much of a scrapbooker myself, but I am a photographer, and even I'm inspired to try my hand at a December album.
And finally, for those of us who love handmade, but aren't necessarily crafty-types, the fabulous Gabrielle of Design Mom is amassing a collection of really lovely handmade stockings from Etsy -- and I do love handmade goods. I'll definitely be looking through those for some possible gifts.
As we wind down 2008, I'd love to hear more about what you're doing to make the end of the year special: what are some of the traditional ways you celebrate December?
Karen is a writer and a photographer in Houston, Texas. You can read and see her life at Chookooloonks.
More from parenting