friday foto: believe.

I love Christmas. And, every year, as sad as I am to see December 25 come and go, it always feels so good to cleanse after the holiday, doesn't it? I'm talking about the house - the struggling poinsettias, the faux greens, snow globes, bells and balls. Even de-lighting the tree - the most dreadful of all Christmas cleansing, in my book - felt good to me this year, amongst the pricks and pokes of our really, really dried up tree. Evidence that the spirit of Christmas is bigger than any tree, in any shape, size or color. Because ours has been dead for almost two weeks. But it didn't matter to us. Just look at this face.
Not once but twice, this thought actually crossed my mind before the big day: "I really need to get organized so the house is clean for Santa."

I recognize I'm a grown up. Which makes that kind of amazing. It just about knocked me off my feet, both times.

I know that this belief has taken on a new meaning, now that I have a daughter of my own, but I grew up in a house of serious believers, and I am hoping to build the same foundation for Miss Mari.

I made some notes so I don't forget for next year, about building on traditions we've started since she was born, because building traditions builds layers that build belief; things like her advent calendar; making sugar cookies; spending Christmas Eve with her cousins, followed by Christmas Eve mass, then new red-and-white pajamas for her long winter's nap, matched with red-and-white wrapping paper just for Santa's gifts; Christmas morning waffles; saving Mari's gift tags and recycling them from year-to-year, as a chronicle of Christmases past; reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas the night before Christmas (and really, all December long); and filing Mary's gifting suggestions for next year.

Most of these traditions stem from my childhood, but so many come from reading what you do to make the holiday special for your family, and for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You've helped me rekindle the power of belief, and then pass it onto my little angel baby.

Back to sweeping up pine needles and packing away another magical holiday. Enjoy this last December weekend, and here's to a shiny new year. See you in 2013!

PS: Mari's kitchen came together and was a total success! I can't wait to share it with you.

For more Friday Fotos, see last week's post.

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