This past week has been tough.  I have been trudging through parts of our house, organizing, sorting and packing.  I have worked two full shifts at the pharmacy, tried to keep up on daily house-cleaning tasks in the midst of all the organizing, sorting, and packing, done physical therapy three times this week, and have spent time trying to get all the technical details worked out in preparation for our 50 states in 50 weeks trip.  It sometimes doesn’t feel like Christmas but then it does.  

The outside Christmas lights, the scurrying all around the town of people looking for the perfect gifts, and of course my three beautiful girls bring the excitement of Christmas into our home.  How do we keep Christmas in our hearts with getting ready to live in an RV for a year?

Christmas Decorations

With moving out of our house before Christmas this year, we were just going to forego Christmas decorations.  Who wants to put up a tree and then a couple weeks later take it down?  That was my Grinch attitude coming out.  

Preparing the RV for living, packing up the house and getting rid of a lot of our stuff took precedence over setting up for Christmas.  Fortunately for Colter and the girls, my parents needed help putting up their Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving.  Seeing how excited the girls were to help and the sparkle the tree put in their eyes motivated me to get our tree set up.  They loved helping fluff the branches and putting on the decorations.  One of their favorite things is the train that was given to us by Colter’s grandmother.  They could watch that thing for hours go round and round whistling and playing Christmas music.  


Shopping for Presents

When I was younger the presents underneath the tree would excite me.  It was the mystery of the unknown and the terribly long wait until Christmas day to find out what was in those boxes wrapped with paper.  I want my kids to feel that excitement.  

Gifts this year were really hard to figure out.  What do you buy your kids for toys when you have a whole bucket you are wanting to get out of your house?  The balancing act of toys/no toys actually curbed my desire to buy lots and lots of toys.  I needed to plan out exactly what I wanted them to have and had a requirement list for the toy I bought.  The gift had to be small, but not too small as to make a mess or have things that Saylor could swallow.  The gift had to be creative enough to entertain the girls for most of the year on the road.  The gift had to be educational, exciting and something the kids would not fight over.  In addition to the above, we wanted to do something from us and something from Santa.  That made two perfect gifts we needed to find.  So I searched online and thought long and hard about the types of things they like and, quite frankly, I think we nailed it!

As for Colter and I, we are not huge on gift giving for each other.  We usually talk about things we may need/want and get the item together.  This year we had to prepare/outfit an RV to live in for a year.  The RV is only 31 feet long and that means items that work in the house, will not work in the RV.  Then we had to get water pressure regulators and filters and levellers and storage containers, etc just to take care of the RV, let alone live in it consistently for a year.  You get the picture…a lot of stuff.  Colter was sweet though and told me he wanted an aluminium kitchen pot set for Christmas!  At least I know he was listening to items I felt we needed in the RV.  So getting the items needed for our trip has been our Christmas this year.  

It was actually really fun to go through the stack of boxes, results from my online ordering, that arrived on our doorstep.  We did it after the kids were asleep!  We literally couldn’t wait until Christmas! That is the fun part of being an adult though, we just went ahead and opened the boxes.  I don’t think I would have survived this holiday season without online ordering and Fred Meyer!

We are surviving the holiday season and transition between packing, holiday, and getting the RV ready.  We love sitting in front of the Christmas tree first thing in the morning or the last thing at night.  Thank goodness for our three Cindy Lou Who’s in our house who changed this Grinch’s heart!