The Joy of McDonalds!

Ok, as a parent, I know fast food is not healthy.  French fries and soda have to be way up there on the list of things that should not be eaten.

But, my kids received gift cards for Christmas and were dying to go spend their loot!  Thursday night, we took a field trip to McDonalds and I have to admit that it was a really good experience.

My son ordered two happy meals.  I told him he could just get one and an extra sandwich, but it was his money, so whatever.  He was so excited to have 2 toys, and 2 sodas, and 2 containers of fries.  He still had money leftover to get 3 cookies.

But, there was another family.  A family that reminded me of my childhood, there were 4 kids.  They were so friendly and rambunctious.  The kind of kids I can let my kids play with without fear that they will tattle because my kids were jumping and bumped into them and they fell down.  The kind of kids that you keep one eye on because the combination of them and your kids has the potential to have someone trying to climb the outside of the playground and having to make an emergency room visit.  You know, kids that enjoy life fully and are not afraid to have fun.

They reminded me of my childhood because there were so many little kids, because they were pretty frugal.  No happy meals for these kids, instead large orders of fries they could share.  And they were home-schooled just like I was when I was their age.

The kids had a blast playing with them.  We learned that one boy was so excited to get a checkers set for Christmas.  We learned that another really liked the happy meal toys and wanted to play with them.  My son showed incredible generocity, not only sharing his cookies and letting them play with his toys, but he also gave away one of his toys to one of the boys.

As a parent, when your kid surprises you with his ability to be compassionate, that is the best thing ever.  🙂

Tis the Season

So it is the time of year when the days are getting shorter and shorter, its getting darker when we go to and come home from work.  Pretty depressing right!

But, luckily, we have many reasons to celebrate in this dark time.  I think that we as cultures intentionally at some point in our history, put celebrations right at this point in time to have something great to balance out the darkness.

So Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa?  What are you celebrating?  What are your traditions?  How do the holidays help you practice being grateful?

One of my favorite traditions is baking povitica, a Russian bread, that we make at the holiday time.  The smell is wonderful, and waking up early to eat a warm slice on a cold morning is a great memory that we renew every year.

Singing for Fun!

We went Christmas Caroling this weekend, and a weird thing happened that I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

We were at this house singing Jingle Bells, and we finished and the lady said it was nice, but could we sing a Christmas Carol instead. She was quietly asking to hear a song about Jesus.  So we met her needs.

But, for me, the idea of giving to others, seeing their needs and helping them out fits beautifully in the celebration.  The Jesus story, Santa, trees, lights, it’s all Christmas.  It’s about sharing, generosity,  love, joy, family, friends, mystery, and impossibilities.

But, it was really fun, the weather was perfect, and we had a fantastic group of singers.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?