And in the past couple years, the holidays have flown by WAY too quickly. I refuse to let that happen again. So this year I am being (or trying to be) very intentional in my celebrations.
And perhaps I got a little overzealous - I started listening to Christmas music October 27th. I have NEVER done that before. It has always been a strict rule in my family that the eggnog and the Christmas music stays locked up until the day after Thanksgiving.
Thing is, I'm a married woman with my own little family now and I'm learning that I can bend some rules, perhaps change them completely, as I see fit. And listening to Christmas music whenever I am in the mood, is definitely an awesome choice to make!
So....the holiday season (which, for me, usually starts on Halloween) actually started October 27th - this year's official day of whipping out the Christmas tunes!
While October 27th may be my official holiday start, this year's Halloween fun is not to be glossed over. Now, I know there's controversy over the whole "Halloween-thing." Believe me, I know. There were years where my family didn't celebrate, there were years we went traditional and simply trick-or-treated, and there were years we found "alternatives." But quite a few years ago we decided to just have some stinkin' fun. And this year was no exception. In fact, this year took the cake.
My parents took the whole family to Disneylands Halloween Party. We all dressed up, ate awesome food, enjoyed a totally transformed and mysterious Disneyland, watched a special Halloween fireworks show, danced with Buzz Lightyear and Friends, rode an even scarier version of Space Mountain, and trick-or-treated around the park. Not to mention taking pictures. Lots of pictures.
Here's one of me and my husband dressed up as mad scientists. Yes, I sprayed my hair pink. We had an awesome night, laughed hard, ate way too much candy and didn't get nearly enough sleep that night for work the next day. It was awesome.
Now that it's November, there's a few things I have been doing to cultivate the celebration of Thanksgiving and the cozy autumn season. I've been working on my goal of learning more hymns on the piano and I have started with a few Thanksgiving hymns. I have my fall decorations out - little scarecrows, a fall-colored tablecloth, gourds and pumpkins and indian corn, and candles. Lots and lots of candles.
I really want to embrace this season. I want to smell all the smells and see all the decorations. I want to hear the music and sing and play along. I want to take the pictures and write down the experiences. I want to make memories.
To do these things, I have to be intentional. In the midst of a busy life, Hallmark memories often get swept under the rug. To prevent this, I am going to write a list of experiences I would like to have this holiday season and what I need to do to make those things happen. In fact, I'm making that list as soon as I hit the publish button for this post.
Any ideas for what I should put on my list? Any fun traditions anyone has or fun experiences they have enjoyed in years past?