Annual cookie making for Santa is always a hit and I’m always surprised at what kids stick it out to the end. It would be easy to slap some frosting on a cookie and cover it in sprinkles, but these cookies are far more detailed than that. There is time and love and plenty of licked fingers that are involved. I used to buy the cookie kit from walmart (with premade cookies) because that’s the amount of time and energy I was willing to put towards this activity. But  in recent years, our loving neighbor has invited us to join her family with freshly rolled sugar cookie dough and frosting in all the colors and my kids think it’s the best thing ever and I agree its far better than our stale store bought gingerbread cookies.

On Christmas eve night, we hosted a few families that didn’t have any family to share the evening with. We often take for granted that we live near so many family members and for those with no one around, Christmas can be a hard time to be alone. We have two families in the neighborhood who are recent transplants and we were surrogate family for the evening.

We hosted a dinner and then bundled up with hot chocolate for our “chilly” hay ride around the neighborhood to take in the beautiful luminaries and Christmas lights.

When we arrived at the Christmas house Bennett insisted we take a picture together. “Can you text that to Grandma and tell her Merry Christmas…and will you use some emojis?!”

And then it was home with just our little family to open Christmas pajamas and read Twas the Night Before Christmas (our favorite version is Robert Sabuda pop up book, aff. link) And then the kids excitedly headed to their beds hoping to find a little sleep.

Christmas Eve 2018

Christmas Eve 2018

Christmas Eve 2018

Christmas Eve 2018

Christmas Eve 2018

Christmas Eve 2018

Christmas Day 2018

It just might be my very favorite night of the year. The excitement and anticipation building – it doesn’t get much better than this!

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