The Christmas season is always a crazy balancing act around here.  There’s always so much to do.  Parties!  Lights!  Concerts!  Santa!*  And we’re expected to somehow shove it all into an impossibly short time frame of several weeks.  Then you have to factor in the varying levels of tolerance to the Parties!Lights!Concerts!Santa! represented within our family- a few of us Allisons could partay for WEEKS while several of us can only take but so much merriment at one time.  It gets tricky.  But we’re learning.  We celebrate big when we celebrate, but we’re also unafraid to say “no”, pare back, and simplify when needed.  We’re forever on-the-fly learners with this sort of thing, but this Christmas season has felt good so far.

*And gasp!  Yes, we “do” Santa.  As a side-note, someone from church asked me in a hushed tone yesterday if we “do” Santa in our home.  The fact that this debate has become such a THING in Christian circles cracks me up.  For the love, y’all, I can think of approximately 726 issues that seem far more pressing within the church today than SANTA.  And yet, that’s the #1 dialogue I hear about this time of year. So, St. Nick or not, let’s just hug it out because we’re ON THE SAME TEAM.  Okay, carry on.  See, so much holiday cheer and jollyness!!

untitled-51Okay, no more soapboxes (in this post at least).  Promise.  Because, pictures!  So, our Christmas season kicked off with Family Worship Night at church a few weeks ago.  Our kids team at church always does a phenomenal job with these, and the Allison brood looks forward to them for months.  Photo booths are an added bonus.

IMG_0406Then, last week, I had the chance to chaperone Carson’s field trip to see the Rudolph musical.  It was cute.  Carson was cuter.  Because OH MY GOSH, these years of parenting school aged kids are my favorite.  Babies don’t keep but neither do six year olds!  I’m trying hard to convince Carson that he wants to stay this sweet and this age forever.  Which may be what happened to me.  As evidenced by my obvious status of Most Mature Chaperone Ever.

IMG_0455And next up, there was The Event of the season.  Meadow Lights.  I’ve blogged about it before, but it’s our fav.  As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, Christmas lights surrounding us on every side, Mary Grace yelled out, “It’s a really good thing this is better than Disney World!”

IMG_0511YES.  Keep believing that, child.  Our budget will love you for it.  For all of you new parents out there, here’s a tip that you’ll thank me for later: start with a realllly low bar.  It’s apparently working for us.

IMG_0459 1This house is down the road from us.  We chatted with the man behind the lights the other night, and his passion made me smile.  I love watching people do what they love.  And then I shudder to think of their electric bills.

IMG_0486And you guys.  The preschool Christmas concert.  Tiny people with handbells might be the cutest thing that ever was.

IMG_0501Or perhaps this.  However, I won’t tell you which of my girls I accidentally sent on stage without underwear.  People, I remembered their bows.  Their bracelets.  Their sweet gold cross necklaces.  What do you expect?  Perfection?

IMG_0441So, here’s to one more week.  One more week of joyous anticipation, exhausted tantrums, and everything in-between. We might not be perfect, but we’re earnest.   Earnest in our celebration of our Savior (so earnest that we sometimes forget our undergarments) and reallyreally grateful recipients of his grace.