Yes, Christmas has come early in our house this year! You must understand, this is a first for us. We are usually the family who begins thinking about Christmas after Thanksgiving (or a few days before Christmas). This year has been different for so many reasons.
First of all, last weekend my mom, hannah, and I took a last minute girls weekend trip to some outlets that are a few hours away. We made such a huge dent in our Christmas shopping that it just jump-started something in me this week. We've been on a Christmas kick since then!
Second, Hannah is really starting to understand the concept of Christmas this year and it is so exciting! She started understanding 'birthdays' a few months ago so we've started with discussions about Jesus' birthday and she's impressed us from there with her understanding of all things Christmas.
Third, have you heard of The Elf on the Shelf? The EOAS craze started a couple years ago and my mom got us one before the stores ran out. The concept is simple and so much fun! Before Christmas, the kids read the Elf book and name him (Hannah named her Elf Kazaar last night.... she cracks us up!). Every morning the kids wake up and have to find the Elf who, while the kids were sleeping, reported to Santa on how they behaved that day. Since the Elf was travelling all night, he is in a different location every morning when the kids get up. So basically, it's a fun morning activity to get the day started, helps everyone get excited for Christmas and want to be on their best behavior, and is a family tradition everyone looks forward to year after year. We are trying it out with Hannah this year to see how she grasps the concept. We read the book last night and named our Elf but Kazaar didn't have a chance to report to Santa last night.... he slept with Hannah :-) She hasn't let him leave her side all morning... we'll keep working on it!
So!! The lights are up outside, the garland is strung on the stairs, the tree is decorated, and yes... the gifts are WRAPPED!!!
Disclaimer that may make me sound like a hypocrite (and that's ok with me on this one); I STILL think it's WAY too early for Christmas music!
Even though we are looking ahead and getting so excited for Christmas and for celebrating Jesus' birth, we can't forget about Thanksgiving and all that we have to be thankful for! We have SO MUCH to be thankful for!