Recently, there was a discussion among my online group of friends about the "sweet spot", when the kids are at the perfect age to truly embrace the spirit of the holiday season. They are old enough to remember and understand what this time of year brings and yet still young enough to wholeheartedly believe in it's magic.
After experiencing this sweet spot with Jake and Jadyn 2 years ago, I fully expected that last year might be the final year where both kids still believed. Therefore, I went overboard with tons of fun activities (presented as daily notes in the Advent Calendar) as well as introducing the tradition of the Elf on the Shelf. It was a huge success. We spent extra quality time as family, gave to others and generally just had the best holiday season ever. It was bittersweet to watch the kids say good-bye to Jelfie, not knowing if the magic of Christmas would still be fully intact by the time he was to return the following year.
And now with the 2012 holiday season upon us, I am happy to report that not only is it still fully intact for both kids but it is stronger than ever. The kids were so excited for Jelfie's return and to start the countdown to Christmas with the special notes found in the Advent calendar each day. They wondered which antics, hiding spots and outings would be repeated and what new things Jelfie would be up to. As happy as I was that they were still completely on board, I also suddenly felt a lot of pressure. All I can say is thank goodness for Pinterest, because I was able to come up with more than enough ideas and we have all been having a blast.
Monday the kids woke up to find themselves trapped in their rooms.
After crawling under the crepe paper, they found Jelfie "innocently" hiding in the laundry room with the evidence of his prank.
That night's activity was to snuggle up in mommy/daddy's bed and read Christmas stories followed by a special night of the family bed.
Wednesday, Jelfie TPed the Christmas tree and hid behind the kids toilet with rolls of toilet paper.
Today, we repeated an activity from last year and it was a smashing success. Inspired by Jelfie's late night chocolate milk snack in the fridge, we all got up and got ready a little early and headed to Starbucks before school. We each got our favorite drink of choice and surprised the car behind us by paying for their order.
It may require extra planning and effort on my part but I am also thoroughly enjoying having the kids in the "sweet spot" for another holiday season.
How sweet it is.