Merry Christmas from our crazy bunch!
A quick look at some of our previous Christmas cards (here, here, here, here) will tell you that we’re not real traditional. One of these days we’re going to surprise all of our friends by sending a nice family picture with a beautiful picturesque background. This year didn’t happen to be that year.
I thought it would be fun to have a Christmas card with all the Dr. Seuss characters we dressed up as on Halloween. Steve didn’t love that idea. So this was the compromise – Steve and I in our Halloween costumes and the rest of the kids in some cute Christmas jammies. And because I love different design concepts for cards – this year was a banner strung on bakers twine. Yes, we hand strung those and yes, I made the kids help – and we sent out quite a few! We were all happy when they went out in the mail.
It might be my favorite card to date just on the message alone – and I can’t help but smile every time I see Briggs’ picture!
We’re still recovering from a happy and successful Christmas and we’ve got a lot of family time planned in the next two weeks but I want to start documenting the last week before Christmas, lest I forget with all the pictures I have from post Christmas activities.
Cannon had his preschool program and it’s just about the cutest thing. Hunter and Bennett have both done it twice so I know what to expect and yet every year I can’t help but giggle with the costume changes and their cute little voices singing those Christmas songs. Cannon was probably our most entertaining child yet to grace that stage.
Getting all those kids to memorize the songs is no small task and I loved hearing his little voice throughout the house rehearsing those songs for the last month. I think my favorite was when he was dressed as a reindeer. He tried so hard to keep that red nose in place and it fell off twice before the song started but he quickly bent down and picked it up. While he was singing it fell off and rolled across the stage. He looked at me with panic in his eyes – He missed a couple lines while he worried about his missing nose but he recovered nicely. 🙂
We’re taking advantage of the quiet moments this season. Is there anything better than turning down the lights and reading Christmas books by tree light? All the kids gathered around the book as the audio to the book played in the background. And it was quiet – even with a toddler – it was quiet and peaceful. I need more nights like this – it has all the energy of the season packaged up so nicely! If I was a fun mom, I would’ve let them sleep by the tree. But I’m not and it was a school night so books by tree light was all they got!
It seems as though everyone has a fascination with the tree this year. I’ve found ornaments rearranged and even removed and new toys in the tree. Surprisingly – not a single broken ornament…yet. We’re enjoying these last couple anxious/exciting days before Christmas. We never take our tree down right away, but for some reason, the lights tend to glow a little differently after Christmas. Perhaps the energy of the tree goes out the door with the used wrapping paper. Don’t get me wrong, I still find myself after Christmas admiring the tree’s beauty but its not the same. So you’ll find us here the next couple of nights.
I remember walking into a neighbor’s house at Christmas time a few years back. The house smelled of cinnamon and the decor looked as though it came from a magazine. At the kitchen table several of her grandchildren were busy putting together a Christmas puzzle. It was an iconic holiday picture.
It reminded me of my own grandmother’s house growing up that had a puzzle on a card table set up at Christmas time – the same puzzle year after year.
Since then, I’ve wanted a Christmas puzzle on our table. This week I finally made it happen. We’ve had a few casualties with Briggs stealing pieces, but I think we’ve recovered all of them!
We’re still not finished, but we’re close. All the kids have taken time to sit down and put some pieces on. We’ve watched several Christmas movies and listened to Christmas music while sitting at that table. It’s Christmas and I love it! (and the house smells like cinnamon!)
The Bass Pro Shop has to be my favorite santa year after year. He’s funny. He’s animated. And even though he never actually asks what the kids want for Christmas – they love to visit him. He throws broken candy canes out of his bag and yells “Broken”. And he poses for pictures like this when I’m testing lighting. He’s a winner!
We actually found ourselves at Bass Pro two times this week. The first time we showed up late afternoon and they were done passing out picture tickets for the entire day. It was anti-climatic to say the least.
Today, Steve picked up passes this morning on his way from a meeting which meant we returned this afternoon for another shot at Santa. Briggs had no idea what was going on and although he was really unsure – he never cried. He cries if I leave him with other family members. But Santa was just different enough that he sat mesmerized – no facial expressions.
Cannon was excited but not entirely sure what was going on. The whole Santa concept isn’t something he’s quite caught on to. He doesn’t ask questions or make comments about Santa – he was just happy to get a candy cane.
Bennett was by far the most excited. He’s at the best age and I wanted to bottle his excitement about the whole experience. “This is the best day ever, I can’t believe I get to see Santa.” He recounted that his friend visited the North Pole last week and he wished so badly that he could go to the North Pole as well. He wrote a letter to santa while waiting in line – he wants a red locker to lock up his legos so Hunter doesn’t steal his and Cannon doesn’t break things he’s built.
Hunter and Hallie determined they were too old to sit on Santa’s lap. In fact Hallie didn’t even join us the first time we attempted photos because she had an invite to go to a friend’s house. I realized our kids were getting old and growing out of some of the aspects of Christmas that were so exciting when they were younger. Luckily, they are great sports and still play it up real well for the younger ones. It made my mom heart happy when she joined us today and even more happy when Santa called her out for being too old – he was generous and still gave her a candy cane!