I took down the Christmas tree yesterday. It seemed to be an all-day process, but somehow I managed to get the ornaments put away and the lights stuffed back into their boxes. I know it's still Christmas, but I couldn't take the pine needles all over the floor anymore. I can't eat another cookie either. I'm done with the sweets. I intended to keep the tree up until the Epiphany, but after the new year, I tend to look ahead and start planning again. I find that it's difficult to celebrate Christmas for twelve days. Of course, I did keep the Nativity up as Luke moves the Wise Men a little closer each day.
As I put away ornaments yesterday, Luke commented that Christmas and Advent passed entirely too quickly this year. I agreed, but in general, I think time passes quickly all the time (except when I'm doing laundry). I thought about all my exciting Advent plans and how we accomplished most of them. We're still reading our Christmas picture books and yes, we did end up comparing the art work in many many editions of The Night Before Christmas from Tasha Tudor to Jan Brett to Will Moses To Gennady Spirin and many others. There were so many mediums of art to accompany this poem. From paintings to photographs to pen-and-ink drawings to pop-ups that it was difficult to decide which artist had the best interpretation of the poem. They were all creative. Along the way, Luke almost memorized the entire poem. He's even working on his own artwork to accompany the Clement C. Moore poem.
We're still only about a third of the way through A Christmas Carol, but there's still plenty of time during the twelve days of Christmas to finish this read aloud since it's not that long and we're all familiar with the story. I can tell that I'm already in that mode where I want to move on.
There's also a small stack of Christmas picture books that we haven't gotten to yet and I'm reluctant to turn them in until we've read them. With all of our nightly read alouds, I did end up with some new favorites this year. We loved loved loved Angela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourt and Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo and The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.
Luke and I did make the gingerbread cookies and he actually ate them and enjoyed them. I discovered that they taste much better undecorated. Plain gingerbread men with a tall glass of milk is mighty tasty!
I'm in planning mode. I'm thinking about the books I want to read this year. I'm also thinking about our winter menu. This Potato soup will definitely warm the tummy during the cold months, but I need at least eleven more dinner dishes. So, I will be sitting down with a cup of tea and a stack of my favorite cookbooks this weekend. I plan to read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I bought it last year as an impulse buy at Costco, but didn't get around to reading it. It's been sitting on my nightstand for most of 2007. (I need to start the new year right and clear off the nightstand, but I know another stack of books will grow again.) I received A Walk with Jane Austen:A Journey into Adventure, Love, and Faith by Lori Smith for Christmas and I'm excited to read about the author's adventures around England as she follows in the footsteps of Jane Austen. I also bought this book before Christmas because as I've stated before, I love cookbooks and a book that will combine simplicity with food is something I want to read! I also have plans to read In this House of Brede hopefully in time for Nutmeg's bookclub. At present, I can't find my own copy. So, I hope that my library has an available copy and soon! Now, I'm still working on learning how to knit from this book. So, I've spent a lot of time reading from Kids Knitting trying to understand how to knit. Now, I know that this list will probably change as I discover new topics that excite me. I'm still working on Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature. I've had to take a break since I've spent a lot of my reading time reading children's Christmas books. I'm still fascinated by Beatrix Potter as it is clear that she seemed to learn best when she immersed herself in a subject and not when she had lessons. I've also started reading Atonement thinking I might actually go and see this film, but I'm not sure yet what I think of this novel.
Anyway, all my plans are well and good, but that Baby in a manger has led me to start thinking about 2008 and how much I want to incorporate Him even more into my daily life. I'm thinking about how to get back our good rhythm of learning we had for our first term. Our schedule got derailed during Advent (which I totally expected would happen) but now I realize it's getting close to the beginning of our second term.