LeeLee and I, a couple weeks ago… Daddy and Aidan stayed in to snuggle down with a movie and we went to Sephora to try on perfume and lip gloss.  Notice her ensemble… Jesse, her “Madeleine Coat” as she calls it and her purple tiara.  
We are trying something new in The Parisienne Farmhouse this Christmas…
something new as a family.
Another step in focusing less on gifts and more on love.  And I have to say, it even wounds my pride to type that because it sounds so cliche… like I am jumping on some big bandwagon… but we have never been a big “gift” family in that, I never run out and buy junk that ends up on next years garage sale pile. I have never felt bad about buying them a couple things because it’s, aside from their birthday the only time of year that I do. On the contrary… my gifts are well thought out, carefully selected based on the child’s passions and interests or those that I think might soon develop.
Quality toys.
A modest addition to the Thomas the Train collection, Legos, A Madame Alexander Doll and of course a book or two.  I can think of a ton of things my children would truly enjoy their interests are so developed… this year for Aidan’s birthday we bought him a circuit board and he has spent COUNTLESS hours playing with it, creating, design, “He’s a real Electronic”… and at one point I walked in the room and the kid had made a radio out of it and was listening to the Cubs!!!  He’s FIVE!  But you get what I am saying.
 There are no Transformers or Bratz Dollz in this hiz-ouse.  (Sorry, I could not refuse.)
But this year we are trimming it down to ONE MODEST GIFT (I got Aidan a $150 set of Lego’s at my friends resale shop for $20!) and a date with Mom and Dad.
Each child (not the baby yet) will go on a their own date… one with Mom… one with Dad…something right up their alley.
I can hardly wait.
I will be taking Aidan to Legoland because we both could play Legos for hours without stoping to eat or pee.  Joel will be taking him to the Museum of Science and Industry  (I am so jealous).  Amélie LOVES to eat at restaurants cause we never do so Daddy is taking her out… all dressed up for Thai food and a trip to a Chocolate Factory.  I will be taking her to the Nutcracker… even if she only lasts til intermission.

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Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to have money.  Now, I don’t mean millions, I just mean…  where you aren’t shifting grocery money around to do Christmas.  Actually, I am at the point in my life where I think that would feel so weird.  There is something about the sacrifice that I think today, at 35, makes me who I am and I am O.K. with that.
There are so many things I want for myself right now.  Really, I am just being honest… a Kitchen-Aid Mixer (6 Quart) and a new flash for my camera to name a few…and I wonder what it would feel like to just…POOF!  Go to the store and buy those things without scraping and saving…
But there has got to be something in the sacrifice.  And I know that each day, at lunch when Joel pulls out of the driveway only to return by hopefully midnight, the kids and I pray and thank the LORD for his job, we cry together often for those right now who don’t have one and even more for the millions around the world walking miles for water and fighting for their very lives…
Just think of how our LORD sacrificed.  The splendor he gave up… the wonders that were at His hands… so He could come here and be born in a BARN!  We exchange gifts in remembrance of the Wise Men’s gifts to the Baby King and in remembrance of God’s great gift to us!
I hope that our kids remember fondly their gifts this Christmas 2010… undivided, one on one time with the two people who love them most of all.

What new traditions will your family be trying this year?