Christmas seems to last all month long... decorating the house, decorating the tree, baking/decorating/eating Christmas cookies, holiday parties, buying/wrapping gifts. All that before the main event of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
And I love every crazy, stressful minute of it.
We sincerely hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. We certainly did.
As you know, the kids went to bed easily and early on Christmas Eve. They woke up just before 7am, but they chilled in their rooms. At 7am (on the dot), they were in our room begging to go downstairs.
Our Christmas morning custom is for the kids to wait at the top of the stairs until Mommy and Daddy get the cameras all set up. It's a tradition my parents started a LONG time ago. (Grammie thought it'd be so funny to recreate those photos with me and my sisters. The pics on the stairs will be kept private... let's just say, we don't fit in the stairwell like we used to.)
Our Christmas Eve was a bit low key this year. It seemed like we all had last minute errands to run in the morning. I hit up Publix for a few last minute things. Grammie and Bud took off to get something. Stu and Rea popped off to do their own stuff.
We do our Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve every year. If we do them earlier, we eat them all.
Yes, I go super easy. We just slice out Pilsbury dough circles. This year, our icing was Duncan Hines - cream cheese and milk chocolate. DELICIOUS!
The freaking elf.
I think that pretty much sums up my feelings toward this little guy.
Yes, it was so adorable when Santa delivered him to us. And right after Thanksgiving, I am usually happy to see him. But, by the time December 24th rolls around, I am not sorry to see him go.
There is such pressure included with this thing. What kind of things does your elf get involved in? Does he lay limp on the floor? Do you spend hours sewing new outfits for him? Do you use your Cricut to create elaborate activities for your offspirng? Do you break your elf's leg so he won't have to move for at least a week? Do you wake up in with a curse word and a mild heart attack at 3am because you forgot to move him... again?
I am somewhere in the middle. Our elf is not a limp noodle (we actually gave him a wire skeletal system years ago). And he is not a fashion-forward, Pinterest-inspired, DIY crafter.
Every year we celebrate Christmas the Saturday before you my husband's family. The in-town cousins and aunts meet up at my inlaws' house for brunch and presents.
The Christmas season is in full swing here. Except that it is so hot out still. I find it difficult to really get into the spirit - or love Christmas music - when it's 85 outside. But, whatevs... that's south Florida.
Stu and Rea build a gingerbread man or house every year together. It's their thing. It's adorable. It's delicious looking. This year, our biggest challenge has been keeping Buddy away from it. He really wants to take a big bite out of it.
We kicked off the holidays at a Christmas party at church. Fortunately, our elf brought each of us a fabulous Christmas sweater that morning. It's like he knew we had this party to attend.
Apparently the difference between Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner is the gravy (or lack of in this case). The food was delicious!
There are no pictures of Rea... I don't know why. She was busy playing with a friend and didn't want to pose. Oh well.
And for those interested, our elf may have been able to find these sweaters at Target.
Next up on the holiday agenda: Holiday singing! Stu and I are in charge of our church's holiday singing this year. The kids (ages 6+) are going to be traveling around this Sunday visiting some people who can't quite get around as well as before (Buddy said, "So, old people?"). If any of our local friends want to join us (or send the kids), let me know. The more, the merrier.
When Thanksgiving ends, the Christmas season officially begins. We are traditionalists... we do not do any Christmas until after we stuff our faces with turkey.
The kids go up to bed on Thanksgiving night and wake up on Black Friday to find that annoying elf.
Our elf brings Christmas jammies when he first arrives. And this year was no different.
No big surprise here, the kids woke up SUPER excited! I told them the day before it'd be awesome if they could sleep in until at least 6:45. They came into our room at 6:46.
After waking us, they went to get Grammie and Grandpa up. And since my sister and her wife were in town, sleeping downstairs, they got to wake up early too! We had fun tearing through presents.
We do not put any gifts under the tree until Christmas Eve. The kids put gifts they are giving people under the tree. But basically the tree looks lonely all month. Then when the monsters come down on Christmas morning, it has exploded with gifts! This was a tradition we stole from my parents. It eliminates the incessant asking to open something all month. I love it.
My other sister and her husband came over around noon for another round of gifts.
After stuffing our faces with prime rib for dinner, I was ready to pass out on the couch. What a day. It was a really fantastic one.
There is little I like more than a holiday! Something about the energy of the day makes me giddy.