From the looks of my calendar, it’s officially holiday time. The month of December is loaded with parties, dinners and other holiday celebrations including a trip to NYC in a few weeks. I love this time of year! We kicked off the month celebrating Hanukkah with the family at mom and dad’s house. Kai was overwhelmed by the number of gifts and all the new toys he got. Reesey is still at that age where the box the gift came in is equally as fun as the actual gift. Kai would go from present to present and most of them had his name on it. His eyes would light up, he would rip open the wrap, look at his new gift and then run to the next box to open it up. He loved all of his books, puzzles, games, balls, toys etc and then when we opened a gift that had new clothes in it for him he would say “Mom, its clothes again” and go running to the next box hoping for another FUN gift – ha! A few years ago all of us decided that the number of gifts we were buying for each other was insane. We all, on the most part are blessed to be able to go buy what we want if we want it, so for all of us to be spending hundreds or more on Hanukkah presents seemed silly and quite frankly a bit over indulgent. So we decided to pick names, all of the adults have one person to buy for and then we all buy for the kids. It is fantastic. Not only does this save on the money we are all spending but it allows us to have a little extra to give to those that actually NEED and don’t just want. My sister did an adopt a family and Ted and I did an adopt a senior citizen this year. Most of these programs have the recipients write a “want” and “need” list. When I am looking at a “need” being warm socks and a “want” being snacks and a new calendar, it really puts things into perspective. There is nothing in the world I love more than buying for my family and especially my babies Kai and Reese, but the reality is none of us really need anything. We are all incredibly blessed and I am thankful that we are able make the holiday special for one another and more importantly that we are able to give back to others. Here are a few great pics from Hanukkah night.
A few days later our celebrations continued. My mom’s 60th birthday is December 7th. Even though we are celebrating with 20 of her friends at a happy hour on Tuesday, Friday night we surprised her by showing up for a dinner that she thought was going to be just she and my dad. Mom typically doesn’t like surprise parties, but a “surprise, your family is here” is always something that she welcomes. We had a fantastic meal at one of my favorite restaurants in town, Bar La Grassa and then my dad surprised her again by letting her know that they would be staying at the Grand Hotel that night. She was so happy. Growing up they used to stay downtown at the Whitney hotel on their anniversary and other special occasions. They haven’t done the stay overnight downtown thing in a while so this was a huge treat for them. Throughout the course of dinner we all had little toasts for mom which made the night even more special. It was actually the perfect night. I can’t believe my mom is 60, she looks like she is 40 so apparently it’s true, age is truly just a number. Happy 60th mama, I love you so much.