Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas with 2 under 2

Our Christmas decorating looks rather different this year, now that we have one walking and another trying with all of his might to figure out crawling.  Last year, Kate began crawling the week after Christmas (the day after cutting BOTH bottom teeth), so we didn't have to worry about our decorations.  She loved the tree and could have spent hours in this very position:

I cannot even believe that was just a year ago!!  This year, Drew does much of the same (imagine that!).  He's much more of a roller than Kate was, so he still gets around.  He's content just to sit and look at the tree, though.  NEXT YEAR will bring even more changes as far as decorating and traditions go.  We'll have a 1 1/2 year old and a 2 1/2 year old (I do like how simple this math is when it concerns my children!!) and that brings a new set of dynamics!
People often ask me what life is like with two so close together (362 days, remember).  A little like having twins, yet not quite.  Here is a glimpse into the Christmas season at the Greenhill home with two under two. 

Christmas cards:  Getting 3 of us to look at the camera for a decent family picture?  Yup, we did it.  Remember the Christmas card post a few weeks ago?  You can see last year's picture here.  How about 4 of us looking in the same direction and smiling?  Probably not.  My plan was to split up the pictures and include 3 on our card this year.  One of Kate, one of Drew, and one of Jon and me.  Amazingly, my mom and sister managed to capture a pretty good one of the entire Greenhill party of four this past weekend and it's a keeper!!

Christmas cookies:  I LOVE baking for Christmas.  My sister and I have started a fun tradition of taking a "Baking Day" before Christmas and we spend the entire day baking/prepping Christmas goodies.  Last year, it was on a Saturday and Jon was able to keep Kate occupied during her awake hours.  This year, it was on a Monday (therefore, no blog post yesterday!).  Let's just say that with two under two, Gretchen and I didn't have many moments alone for peaceful baking! 

Decorations:  Most of my favorite decorations are candles.  Or breakable things.  You know, toddler/baby appropriate items.  *sigh*  I pulled out many of them from the Christmas bins, stared longingly at them, and returned them to the bins.  We don't have much shelf/counter space in our home, so we don't have many places to put our decorations out of harm's way.  However, our house is not void of breakable Christmas decorations.  Call me crazy, but here's my plan.  Kate needs to learn that not everything is fair game.  We still have candles in the windows, ornaments on the entire tree, a tablecloth with a glass nativity on the dining room table, and a mini Christmas tree all within reach of little hands.  Reality: The world is not baby proof.  And Kate is learning what she can and can't touch/play with.  It's important for her to learn that our home will have some of Mom and Dad's things within her grasp and they are not toys.  And believe it or not, this has worked REALLY well!  She knows that she can look at the candles in the windows, but not touch.  She can peek up on the dining room table, but doesn't yank on the tablecloth.  She can touch some of the ornaments on the bottom part of the tree, but she knows not to pull them off.  (In case she does, they aren't breakable!)   

Tree watering:  I don't do it anymore.  HA!  Guess who does?? 

Yup!  I just gave her a container with ice cubes, and she got to work!  Those bad boys will melt in the stand, and our beautiful Fraser fir is watered until it's thirsty again!  Sorry about the bad lighting- you can only get but so many angles when you're under. the. tree.  :)

Those are a few ways our Christmas looks a little bit different this year.  We're also coming to some conclusions regarding "The Great Santa Debate."  Check back next week for more on that!

Did you/do you do anything differently in the Christmas season with young ones in the house?


  1. I never put presents out until Christmas eve! Because they do not survive little hands! I do put out breakable items as well and have taught the kids, like you have, not to touch. I balance that by putting out lots of decorations that they can touch, like a plastic nativity.

  2. Anonymous7:22 PM

    1. I can't believe that the pic at the top was just a year ago! It seems like forever ago that Kate was that little!
    2. I was really impressed when y'all were over that she didn't pull everything off my tree. You've taught her well.
    3. Don't do Santa Clause! That's my vote in the "Santa debate" :)

  3. We don't have many decorations on or any presents under the tree. Just safer. I've been trying to teach E. not to touch, but she's only 16 months and just at that age where she kinda gets it but she kinda doesn't. Maybe Mama is just lazy and doesn't want to tell her 'No!' every five minutes. *lol* That is a possibility, too.

    We are going to do Santa in very small doses and more of a symbol of love/Jesus' helper rather than an actual person who lives at the North Pole. I found a couple of books at Amazon that talk abt Santa and one that even has Santa visiting Jesus the night He's born. My family is not really Christian (or religious at all), so Santa is a big deal to them. My nephew (and any subsequent nephews and nieces I have) will be raised with Santa, and since 'Santa' brings presents to my parents' house as well (something my mother refuses to not do), I think it will be easier (and a 'living out my faith' kind of witness to my family) to go with the flow and acknowledge the spirit of Santa but not put a lot of stock in him.

    We're going to celebrate St. Nicholas Day by talking abt the real St. Nicholas and how he ties into Santa as well as make sure that Santa just brings a couple presents to our house. Most importantly, there's going to be a lot of Jesus up in here! *lol* I think by focusing on Him and our family and community service, the kids will not be into Santa really and it'll all just fall into place how we want.

    Sorry! *lol* I commented way too much. I've been thinking and praying a lot abt Santa this year, so it's been on my mind.


  4. Anonymous11:34 AM

    I love the ice cube idea! never thought about it! Will be doing that now own instead of climbing under the tree with a cup of water!