Before I move on to writing about Christmas eve and Christmas, I want to address all the pre-christmas stuff that came and went without much fanfare but added to the spirit of our Christmas and the delight of the kids.
We started out the month with decorating the tree. This was a pre-lit tree that we inherited from Steve’s brother. They were getting rid of it because some lights stopped working. I thought I would spend an hour and a half taking the lights off and it would be as good as new. 5 hours later, I finally had the old lights off! It took way longer than I ever imagined – but we finally got the new lights on and the kids did the decorating as I directed from the couch.
I helped put on a dinner for the women of our church with the theme “Festival of Nativities”. We had four tables full of nativities from around the world from different members of our church. It was a beautiful collection. It made me want to collect a variety of nativities and display them in our home.
Bennett had his kindergarten program where he was front and center with his friend. Bennett is a ham most of the time and I was surprised how shy he was on the stage. Don’t get me wrong – he still had plenty of animated faces, but not to his usual standard. He also had a speaking part that he had repeated over and over again in preparation. Everyone in the family had it memorized.
I went to Bennett’s class to help with Gingerbread houses. It was comical. Bennett isn’t traditional and it showed as he carefully created a house that represented him. There was no pattern or reason – he told me where he wanted frosting and he shoved candy there. He was pretty proud of his work and I enjoyed the morning listening to him jabber with his friends. I was also in Hallie’s class party the day before but I have no proof!
Steve’s parents hosted the annual grade-school cousin sleepover. I have a love/hate relationship with this tradition. We’re not a sleepover family but we make this annual exception. I love that the kids are so excited and look forward to this, but I hate how grumpy they are the next day. There were reports of going to bed at 12:30 and waking up at 5:30. We had tears and more tears the next day and crying as they screamed they weren’t tired. Real fun! They had a blast. We also had a family talent night where many performed and there was a gift exchange.
I always like to refresh some decorations during the month and I came up with several of these wreaths to hang on my windows made from a single strand of garland from Hobby lobby. I wrapped it in a circle twice and secured it with floral tape and hung it with red ribbon tied in a bow on a command strip. I love them.
A friend gave us this melting snowman kit and my kids took turns creating snowmen and then watched it melt at least a hundred times. It just sat on the counter on a paper plate and every kid seemed to walk by, see that it was melted and built it back up. It kept them all entertained. I saw amazon also has a melting witch for Halloween that I want to get my hands on.
These activities, in combination with multiple santa sightings, temple lights, friend gatherings, service projects, afternoons at the movies and more created a magical December. It didn’t feel crazy busy but it was enough to keep the kids excited about the season. Good memories to hold on to.