Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's Not About the Getting, But the Giving

I have to bring back some kind of security when it comes to leaving comments to my blog posts. For some reason, I have been getting a lot of anonymous scam comments that are being left to my posts, and it has been getting on my nerves. It is irritating to be spammed with ads instead of actual thoughtful comments yet at the same time, I really despite security code that you have to type in before you leave a comment. I can't even read the words and letters half of the time, and have to re-type the security password repeatedly before my comment gets published. I will have to think about either bringing back this terrible security access or approving comments before they are published. 

I am thinking about making yet another transition, but have not made any official decision. For about a year now, I've been toying with an idea of creating my own URL website rather than using a host blogger to blog. The only catch is that I'll have to pay a small fee every year to keep up with the website. I'm the type of person who needs to research the options before making a decision. For those who have a personalized website URL, share your thoughts, please! 

I am quite excited because I'm done Christmas shopping for my side of family. My goal of the year to shop a month early has been accomplished. Let's see if I can keep this up in the future. I also have a really cute idea for Forrest's 4 months old pictures. I am planning on using a Santa hat on Forrest with a red necktie. That's all I will be saying for now! I don't want to reveal too much and spoil the surprise. It is hard to believe that Forrest is going to be 3 months week already! Stay posted for 3-months update post with some cute pictures yet to come! 

Currently, I'm playing a Christmas baby songs on a CD for Forrest. I may not be able to enjoy Christmas music, but I can't see why Forrest can't enjoy the music! He has been gummy-grinning and shaking at the music. Always count on some music to keep my guy happy. He's my little musician.

I'm so in Christmas mood. Traditionally, I always shy away from Christmas stuff until after Thanksgiving. I've always felt Thanksgiving got overshadowed by Christmas. Well, ever since Forrest was born; I find that I am really eager for Christmas to arrive, and to celebrate our traditions with him.
(Going totally to make something like this)
Growing up, I've always loved little traditions that we celebrated every December. I loved the little count-down until Christmas board. You know, those little flaps that you can slowly open and eat a piece of candy from inside. I really want to make DIY countdown calendar that we can use year after year for our kid(s). Seriously, it's one of my best memories while I was growing up. 

Every year, I loved it when Mom and Aunt Ro brought a bunch of boxes upstairs from the basement, and opened the boxes to reveal Christmas decorations. We easily spent about 2 hours decorating the house for the holiday. 

Then Mom, Alex, and I used to go up north with Steve (at that time, Mom's boyfriend and now our step-dad) and chopped down a bunch of pine trees to bring back home. It was so much fun getting up at 5 am, dressing up in long-johns and in the layers to stay warm, stopping at McDonald's for breakfast on the way during our 4-hour trip up north, and running around on a tree farm while our step-dad chopped down trees. Bringing back our personal Christmas tree home was the best part. Then my aunt had boxes of Christmas lights and ornaments ready for us to decorate. After decorating the tree, we all sat back in a soft glow from the lights and take in the pleasure of having this task being done after a long day. I loved the smell of the pine tree for that whole month. 

Our previous fake Christmas tree that Missy had destroyed completely
I really look forward to doing this with Forrest and seeing his little face lighten up at all the Christmas decorations. Until then, I must be content doing this by myself which is something I honestly do not mind because I just love interior decorating. I can't wait until we get a Christmas tree. This year, we are considering about buying a small fake plastic tree because of few reasons; A) we have cats and one of them have successfully destroyed every fake tree we had. The only thing that almost kept her off was a real pine tree, &  B) Unfortunately, we don't have enough space for a real tree this year seeing that we have tons of stuff laying around and our place is just too small. When we get a house; we definitely will start the tradition of getting a real pine tree! In the meanwhile, a small fake tree will do just fine for us. Forrest is still too young to justify buying a huge tree!

I plan on singing 12 days of Christmas with Forrest every day, but my song has a twist. It's not your traditional song. Just wait and see! You're in for a fun surprise. 

We are planning on taking Forrest to Dickens of Christmas in Ripon this year. I am absolutely excited about this. Someday, we can take him to the Botantical Gardens in Green Bay for Christmas lights (the very same place where we got married). It's about an hour drive up north, and at this time, Forrest is too young to appreciate the Gardens of Lights. Fortunately, we do have Christmas lights at our local zoo this year, and we are planning on attending that as well. 

I am ready to pull out our sockings and hang them on our shelves then fill them with small gifts on the night of December 5th. This is called St. Nick's which is Germanic tradition. On the morning of December 6th, the sockings will be filled, and to be enjoyed by little kids!! I am a bit weird, but we also got one for Layla, our dog! Ha ha. Anyway, this is so important to me to have Forrest experience St. Nick's. 

Other wonderful Christmas memory from my childhood; Mom and Aunt used to take us kids one night to drive through neighborhoods with Christmas lights and decorations, and we used to eat curly french fries  with our hot chocolate drinks from Hardee's.

Google; very pretty!!! 

This is something I really want Forrest to experience too! 

On alternating years when we visit my side of the family; I love Christmas Eve that are spent with Dad, because it somehow prolongs the festivities. Christmas never starts on December 25th for always starts on the 24th! I love it when we go over to Grandpa Jerry's to hang out, eat snacks, and chill then head over to Dad's for dinner and opening gifts. I love how Dad always have friends over and treat them like family. Sometimes, there's Christmas movie and music playing in the background. It's just so cozy and nice. 

Then there's also years that we spend Christmas with Stu's family. I hate calling them Stu's family because they are my family too! They are fun bunch of people. I love having people get together, eat yummy food, and open gifts. Funny thing is, I don't necessarily enjoy opening my own gifts, but to watch others open their gifts. The feeling in the air is so festive and lovely. I look forward creating more Christmas traditions with them. 

I can't wait for Forrest to be old enough to understand Christmas and be excited for it. I can't wait for his little pitter-patting feet at 5 am to wake us up and open the gifts. I look forward to making Christmas breakfast, and celebrating it with family. We will be sharing the story of Santa Claus. Some parents are really against this idea because it is a "lie". Well, I don't necessarily see this as a lie, but a way to incorporate a lesson about Santa Claus. It's for a whole other post that I will write in upcoming month! 


Lastly, I look forward to teaching Forrest about the gift of giving. Every year, I would really like to have him pick 2-3 toys that he no longer uses, and donate them to the needy and poor. When he's old enough, I hope to sign us up for a volunteering stint at a homeless shelter for a soup kitchen during the month of December. I believe it is very important for him and any future kids we may have to learn that we should not take things for granted, and to feel blessed with what we have AND to lend a helping hand to those who are less than fortunate. 

Christmas is not all about the "getting", but also the giving. 



  1. I love all the traditions you want to Forrest to have in his life. I'm big on traditions too and plan to have a bunch we show Blake :)

  2. Heartwarming post, Ashley :)

  3. I love the all the pretty christmas commercials they are having & hobby lobby is my fav shop & they are filled. All the places are as ready as I am!!

  4. I can't really concentrate on much else, as little misters smiley face just distracted me so much. He looks so happy, and cheeky in that photo.
    I am sorry you have been getting that :( I have no idea when it comes to technology and websites etc but I am sure there are many who read here who know more.
    You are an amazing woman and an amazing mummy.
    Love you <3