Monday, December 7, 2015

slow days at Christmastime

"Let's get an early start". 
We talked over soup and bread Friday night--planning out our Christmas Tree hunt for the next day. We'd all been anxiously awaiting the weekend and the weather was looking absolutely perfect. 
I woke up to sunshine at seven, and thought "who needs an early start!", and went back to sleep, taking full advantage of a day off. 
No one complained. 

We eventually all woke up, Robby scrambled eggs while the kids gathered up snowpants and boots and mittens. We loaded up the dog, sleds, a thermos full of cocoa, and headed for the hills.

Not far up the mountain we found SNOW! Gobs of it! We've only had one snow down in the valley, and it didn't stick around very we were excited to get out and play. We parked the car and made our way through a clearing--our tracks were the first. 
tree hunt // the little red house blog
tree hunt // the little red house blog
tree hunt // the little red house blog

tree hunt // the little red house blog
We got into the trees--shady and cool--a surprisingly welcome break from the warm sun (it's funny how 30° suddenly feels hot when you're trudging through deep snow). The sun filtered through the forest ceiling and shone brightly in one spot--lighting up a lone pine. It was missing branches and awkwardly lopsided, about 4 feet too tall for our house.
It was perfect.
tree hunt // the little red house blog
The kids took turns being lumberjacks and we all yelled "TIMMMMMBER!!" as it fell onto the soft snow.
tree hunt // the little red house blog
trtree hunt // the little red house blogeehunt8
treehunt6tree hunt // the little red house blogtree hunt // the little red house blog
We attempted some awkward family photos, and then half carried/half dragged our tree across the clearing and back to the car. 
tree hunt // the little red house blogtree hunt // the little red house blog
And then the real fun started. 
The road was covered in snow, and we were the only people out for the day. We had a sled, a tow-strap, and two kids anxious for a good old fashioned sleigh ride. 
tree hunt // the little red house blog
tree hunt // the little red house blog

tree hunt // the little red house blog
They screamed and giggled for miles. Their little faces froze as the car sprayed them with snow.....and all they said was "FASTER!" They'd fall off, and drag for a while before they let go. As we laughed hysterically at their shrieks, I couldn't decide if we were the best parents....or the worst. The sun finally faded down behind the trees and we stopped for our hot chocolate and donuts, and helped them pick the ice out of their noses and hair. 
tree hunt // the little red house blogtree hunt // the little red house blog
Robby lit every single scrawny branch, we hung ornaments collected over the years, and topped it with a star. 
treehtree hunt // the little red house blogunt13
tree hunt // the little red house blog
I love these days when time slows down. When it's just me and my people, doing what we love. The Christmas season gets so busy--parties, shopping, eating, playing--it's all good stuff. My school is just totally ridiculously a bit crazy as we wrap up the semester, the kids have programs and projects due at school, so I'm trying my best to cut out everything we don't need--even the good stuff. If it starts to feel like "too much", I wonder if we really need it.....we probably don't. Focusing on my family and reminding myself that THESE days truly are the best days, helps me simplify. 

Slow days at Christmastime, I love this season.

How do you slow down and simplify the Christmas season?
I'd love to hear.


Rania {Rowan Tree} said...

Oh my what a wonderful day! How nice to be out in the sun and snow, and you guys seemed to have so much fun. Is there anything tastier than hot chocolate out on a day like that? I think not! Taking time to be with the people who matter really is what christmas should be all about, the rest is not necessary at all actually. Your mind (and heart) is in the right place :) Also, love the photos - as always!

arianna terzago said...

I got lost in the magic of those photos: it made me feel like I was there with you all!

Faith said...

These pictures are pure perfection and completely got me into the Christmas spirit!

Jessie said...

Love the photos! It's a magical time of year.

gram said...

Brought back memories of when you were little ... still making more! Hugs to all of you!

Nicolette said...

I loved your photos so much! This year I was desperate to slow things done so I could really enjoy Christmas time with my family. So I was determined to get Christmas shopping out of the way before December even hit. I did 98% of my Christmas shopping (mostly online) in November. And that helped more than anything. I am also overwhelmed by all of the fun things you can do, but I thought about it and staying at home being cozy warm with my family, sitting by the fire is what I enjoy more than running around in the car so I'm sticking to that more than not.

likeschocolate said...

Lovely images that make me smile!

ashley sullivan said...

there is so much to be said for slowing down during this season. i have learned to be intentional about it-- i do everything i can to keep the plans to a minimum, and december weekends clear. there's nothing i love more than having the space to decide how to spend a day-- the ability to wander, time to flip through cookbooks and plan a meal the old fashioned way, a few moments to enjoy a mug of something warm by the lit tree.

judi said...

Hot Chocolate and Donuts. Perfect. :)

Unknown said...

This is beautiful.... I know there are always the not so perfect days (for any of us), but you guys seriously have a wonderful life. Im sad to say, I always get a little envious of it when I read your posts ;) Happy holidays to you and yours.

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