... and my true love gave to me....

NINE, 9, only nine days left until Christmas! Seriously?! Who's wiping the hours off the clock because I'm pretty sure I'm not getting a full 24 hours each day if it's only 9 days until The Big Day!!! Good Golly!

But HO-HO-HO and Merry Christmas to each and every one of you! So many things to be thankful for... first and foremost, lil' Miss Anne! She is scheduled to come home tomorrow, 12/17/08... she'll be one day shy of being 3 months old on the dot! I can't believe it! This last 3 months has flown! We are so excited to get to bring her home for the Holidays. As I previously stated, she'll still be coming home with the monitor and feeding tube, and she won't be leaving the house for several months... but still, for them to all get to wake up together on Christmas morning is a blessing in and of itself. Thank You Lord!!!

As for The Bennett's... well, we've been glee-fully sleighing along :~) We already have our Christmas tree up and already have probably 1/2 of the ornaments on the tree!!!! I know - and only 9 days left 'til Christmas! Needless to say, The Bennett house Christmas decor has not been high on the priority list. It's right underneath shopping, wrapping, staying warm, and the egg nog! And altho my lack of decor may leave you wondering if I've turned into Scrooge - the answer is NO! NO, NO, NO... NOT the case! As a matter of fact, not having the stress of finding time to decorate my house has allowed me to enjoy the season that much more !!!! I'm thinking I might be on to something.....

So Saturday night marked the 12 Nights before Christmas! This is a big event in the Bennett house. Why? Because starting 12 Nights before Christmas the elves start visiting our house. If you've never heard of the elves... well, here goes --- it's sooooooo much fun for kids! A fav memory for my brother and I. So starting 12 Nights before (the night of Dec 13th for you mathematically challenged)... your child(ren) puts 1 shoe under the tree. And each night, the elves come in the middle of the night and leave a lil' something in your child's shoe. The first night it starts small... maybe a pack of gum or a sucker... and each night a different gift is left in the shoe. Your child wakes up every morning and is so excited to see if the elves made it... too, too fun! NOW, the ONE shoe is key because if you leave both shoes - then that's a pair and the elves are likely to run off with them and trade them in for their pointy-toed, jingle-bellin' slippers! (wouldn't you!). So be sure it's only 1 shoe! AND, another fun thing to add is the night of the 23rd the elves always bring a new pair of pj's with something fun and little. Why a new pair of pj's on the 23rd? So that way when you go to bed Christmas Eve and anxiously await the big man in the red suit - you're anxiously snuggled in to your bed in your new jammies... just waiting for the visions of sugar plums!

Oh yes... the memories! I strongly advise anyone who has lil' ones to start this tradition A.S.AP.! Even with Christmas only being 9 days away you could tell your little one you heard Santa's elves were in the area and suggest he/she/they put a shoe under the tree. Then next year you can pick up starting 12 nights before. It's soooooooo fun! I encourage you all! And the lil' gifts don't have to be of any value - they just enjoy the spirit, excitement of the surprise! :~)

And yes, I have had some nights where I'm darting off to Walmart or the gas station at 10 p.m. at night because I didn't plan ahead. But what fun would the Holiday season be if it didn't include midnight runs... after all, I am Santa, right?! If not, I've been had and I suggest you not to advise me otherwise at this point :~) But the joy, the smile, the gleam in their eye.... it's worth every ounce of energy!!!

So there's my Christmas tradition I'm passing on.... what's yours?

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ROSEBOWL - JAN 1, 2008