As I mentioned in my last post, me and my kiddos are excited to share what we’re going to BAKE, MAKE, DECORATE and also SHOP this holiday season. This week we’re in DECORATE Land and, true to my word, I’m letting the kids call the shots. And I gotta admit … it’s tough. Why? Is it because I’ve got some awesome ideas on my Pinterest boards? Sure. And because I’m pretty crafty and I’ve been planning for months to make stuff? Yup. But when I’m really honest I’ll tell you that I want my house to look awesome-wonderful-color coordinated-festive-wow-she’s-amazing-even-though-they’re poor when my friends come over because it helps my self esteem. Letting go of that part of my vanity in favor of letting my kids find their own magic was harder than I thought. But this ‘kids in charge’ thing has been awesome. I drug out the Christmas bins over Thanksgiving weekend and sat the kids down to make a plan. Plan? What’s a plan, mom? They just wanted to go nuts and start throwing things up. And I almost ruined the whole dang thing by insisting on them planning their spontaneous holiday decorating. When I finally got out of the way and let them welcome Christmas on their own terms, I had the funnest night in a long time. And so the kids claimed my for-the-entry-way-only mini trees and hauled them down to their rooms. And decorated the heck out of them. And added gobbs and gobbs of extra colored lights. And they were so stinkin’ proud of how they turned out. See? And they insisted on using every ornament – every.single.one —on the tree in the living room. I think some potted poinsettias, candy cane pens, a glitter tree headband and wooden power lines from my son’s model railroad also made it on there, too. Even the old-metal-hanger-tinsel-star that Mr. Thrive and I made after we got back from our honeymoon wound up on the tree, too. Haven’t seen that thing in forever. Does seem oddly appropriate, though. And after a solid hour of Christmas music, the kids were in the mood for something a little more upbeat from mom’s playlist. Done. And man did these kids have a blast rocking out and decorating away to 2012’s newest holiday anthem: Gangnam Style. When they were all done, our Christmas tree looked like this: A department store “Holiday Dream Tree” this is not. And my kids’ lovely décor will never, ever make the rounds on Pinterest. As a blogger, that should be a big no-no. But six kiddos giggled and laughed and rode air horses late into the night while this happy momma snapped pics and finally let go again of that reoccurring feeling of sadness for what I can’t give them. What we can create together as a family is more than enough and I’ve got the pictures and video to remind me when I forget again. There’s been lots of glue gun action and sewing over the weekend as my kids had fun bossing mom around. We’ve even got a new holiday playlist on iTunes that we’ve been rocking out to … more Gangnam Style, The Piano Guys, Justin Bieber, the Gummy Bear song and even some Jingle Bell Rock. The rest of this week I’ll be posting the fun projects that we made together to decorate our entryway, faux mantel, tree and walls. Bring on the cardboard, hangers, and repurposed old t-shirt goodness … Gangnam style, of course.