I mentioned a while back our love for experience gifts. Steve’s brother had us on the Christmas gift rotation this year and lucky for us, they came into town just after Christmas to share in the experience gift. We grabbed Thai food and then went to K1 Speed to race go-karts.
This was both competitive and entertaining – not to mention a little abusive on the body. Not only were our arms and shoulders exhausted by the end – I had bruises all up my back and my side from moving around in the cart as I took every corner at top speed.
Would I do it again? In a heart beat. Would I wear more layers so my boney back didn’t rub on the hard seat. Why yes I would! And I’ve got to figure out how to shave a second and a half off my lap so I can dethrone Steve!
I was tempted to leave them up even longer but Christmas has been down for over a week and it was time to reclaim the fridge. I’ve loved looking at these faces for the past month. Each year I think the number of cards dwindles as people move away from sending cards in the mail. But I’m grateful for those that are sticking to it (just we like we are!)
I’m not going to print out your instagram picture and put it on my fridge – but if you send me a card – I’ll leave you up for a month!
I’m not sure if I’m alone in this thought but sometimes as I’m prepping for Christmas (buying and wrapping presents) I get worried that its not enough. In my head everything is great and then as I lay it out I worry over one thing or another. I wonder if I should buy more to make it a better Christmas (which is the silliest thought ever). I worry that maybe I should buy the popular gift that I know every kid is wanting. My head starts racing.
But when I quiet the worry in my head and stick with my plan – it’s never steered me wrong. Could I buy more – sure. Would my kids be happier if I bought more – no. They might think they would, but if they get too many amazing gifts – the value diminishes.
This year, was just right. They got books to read, games to play, things to wear and things off their wish list and it was just right.
I think this year was the year of expressions – everyone gave such great responses to their gifts and to each others gifts. I heard many times, “This is the best Christmas ever!” Which is exactly what a parent wants to hear after spending time, money and mental energy on the gifts. I’m grateful my kids are still young enough that we get these kind of responses and that they’re still overly excited about the lego set – even though we have a bajillion already. There was excitement all around and I couldn’t have been happier enjoying the moment with them.
The biggest hit – Alexa echo dots (thank you amazon black friday!) Who would’ve thought $20 could bring so much happiness and the ability to ask what the weather is, play their favorite song or play rock, paper, scissor with an inanimate object.
It was a lovely and energy filled morning – exactly the type of moments I want to capture in a bottle and pull off the shelf from time to time just for a little reminder of the good ol’ days.
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.
It just might be my very favorite night of the year. The excitement and anticipation building – it doesn’t get much better than this!
I was going to lump Cannon’s Christmas preschool program with the rest of the random events that I have pictures from in December. But after going through the photos I realized it needed it’s own post. Simply for the fact that there were so many costume changes and every song was my very favorite. Perhaps it was Cannon’s cute face beaming – he was so proud that he knew all those songs and throughout the month of December every time a song came on the radio that he was learning in school he would proudly shout with excitement from the back of the car, “I know this song – this is from my program!” Needless to say, he stood on that stage and sang with pride.
Bless his sweet preschool’s teacher’s heart for all her effort and coming up with all those costumes. She goes above and beyond!
Every year the teacher does two songs where previous students can come and sing with their siblings. That morning, Bennett was begging us to let him go. How could we deny such a sweet request – I loved watching those two sing the songs together and Cannon couldn’t have been more excited to have his big brother by his side.
And just when I thought we were done with crying on Santa’s lap – Briggs surprised us. I don’t think it was Santa as much as he really wanted a cupcake and instead got a cookie. You can’t reason with a two-year-old!