Following our grand Thanksgiving vacation I had a hard time getting into the Christmas Spirit. I forbade myself to make cookies until just before Christmas Day, often forgot to turn on the holiday tunes, was stressed about Andrew's sleeping schedule, etc. It wasn't until Christmas Break started that I really got into my holiday groove. No more waking up to hurry Vince off to school, holiday leave so Paul could be home, visits from friends & family, cookies, fudge, egg nog, and Christmas movies every night. Now THAT is what I was waiting for!
Christmas Puzzling with Heather. Andrew did most of it ;)
Vince got a new toy at his school Christmas party. Kate promptly tried to grab it from him and it wound up in her hair. Almost had to resort to giving her bangs.
Took a leaf from Rachael's book and celebrated the Winter Solstice with a candlelit dinner.
Selfie Stick to the rescue!
On December 23 we went to the ballpark and drove around looking at all of the light displays. Followed by a visit to Santa Clause! They wouldn't let us snag a picture without paying so we'll just use our memory to recall how cute Kate was sitting on his big lap. At first she wouldn't make eye contact, then it was shifty eyes, followed by sweet smiles and excitement. She asked for a doll. Vince asked for video game. He was nervous to sit on Santa's lap but Kate already being there gave him the courage to overcome stranger danger. They each were gifted candy canes as they hopped off his lap and then we enjoyed hot cocoa together (Vince insisted that it was Cocoa, not Hot Chocolate).
Holiday baking really gives me the Christmas feels. I can't let this season go by without making my mom's 7 layer cookies and my Grandma Griffioen's Fudge. A new family favorite is Rachael's M&M cookie recipe. We made all of these goodies in record time and proceeded to give them all away (insert hangry sobbing here). The most memorable part of goodie making was seeing Vince and Kate eat the fudge batter from the bowl. Whenever my dad made fudge we would beg to lick the beaters and the bowl. I loved seeing my kiddos make memories similar to mine.
Christmas Eve is where it gets really awesome. Am I right? Snow on the ground, no responsibilities, family gathered together, good food, our Fiesta (thanks to Christie's delicious tamales!), new jammies, cuddles by the tree, watching A Christmas Carol (only the George C Scott version will do), and most importantly-- reflecting on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The magic is so real here. But the sleep is even more real! Haha! We had to wake up these sleepy heads at 8 am so we could make it to church on time. Since we didn't have enough time for presents, we let the kids open their stockings. After our lovely church service we returned home to find Nana and Grandpa had already arrived! We got settled and then opened presents. The best reaction of the day was Vincent when he opened his Optimus Prime Toy, "THIS IS WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED!" Boo yeah! Kate showed an obvious preference to the marbles we got her. Christmas was definitely a success!
After gifts my mom whipped up the most satisfying Christmas Dinner. I didn't have to lift a finger (which may have been the best gift of all). The rest of the day was perfectly lazy. We watched It's a Wonderful Life, did a puzzle, skyped with Grandma and Grandpa Brallier, played games, ate the rest of the tamales, watched Andrew "open" his gifts, and played with new toys. What fun it has been having them here for Christmas Day 2 years in a row.
It was a Merry Christmas indeed!