I know this is late in coming but we had some notable moments this Christmas. A few years ago we made the decision that we'd "just say no" to 90% of what we were invited to do in December. It's so easy to get to the end and realize you didn't do any of that special family stuff you intended to do. We may have squeezed in one thing to many, but it was fun.
Little Sister's birthday was in December. She was due on Christmas day but we intervened and brought her into the world a little bit earlier. It's still so hard to keep her birthday and Christmas really separate and special.
A few days before our family party, Big Sister decided to make special party hats. Somehow I managed to avoid having to wear one but the stuffed animals were not so lucky.
We got invited to go to Opry Mills to see Charlie Brown ICE! They give you huge blue coats to wear and you walk around freezing looking at all the ice sculptures. There's an ice slide to go down and the nativity in ice was beautiful. It was neat but had it not been free, I would have never paid the $28 or so per person to see it. We were done in about half an hour.
Speaking of money, shopping was interesting this year. For the first time ever, we were done on Black Friday. The most difficult part was that we officially became those parents who go bonkers looking for this year's hard to find toy, Zhu Zhu pets. Big Sister had some advice about shopping.
Big Sis: Mom! You need to go to Walmart and ask them for Christmas!
Big Sis: The commercial says Christmas costs less at Walmart!
Her solid belief in commercials is why we ended up searching for Zhu Zhu pets in the first place. I had to draw the line at the "As seen on TV" brownie pan with built in dividers (I don't like the edges, I like the middles anyway) and the buxton bag (The BIGGEST little bag ever!). She is convinced I must have these items because the commercials say I can't live without them.
We saw Santa a couple of times. We saw him at the mall as usual but we also saw him at one of our family traditions. Every year we drive out to Lebanon to a house that has a HUGE drive through light display. Towards the end, you drive through a barn that looks like Santa's living room and he gives out candy canes. As we waved goodbye and started to drive off, Little Sister yelled, "But you forgot to give us presents!" To which he replied, "Three more days!"
One of the most hilarious moments happened at a "dirty Santa" party. Some people brought gag gifts and some people brought real gifts. As a former Jersey girl married to a football coach it was ironic that we ended up with these gifts.
On Christmas Eve, we got everyone prettied up to go to church. Before we left, we were able to watch my sister on live feed from her church in North Carolina reading the Christmas story.
The church service was really sweet. The pastor does a children's time at the end of the service where all the children come sit with him up at the front and talk. For much of the service I worried about Little Sister going up there. She's the child most likely to say something embarrassing or raise her dress up around her shoulders. In an act of divine intervention, she fell asleep moments before he called the children forward.
Yes, my husband took a picture in church.
Anyway, when we got home they were ready for bed but not before setting out cookies and milk for Santa along with a note that said, "Dear Santa, I have a question for you and that would be what is Mrs. Claus' first name?" To which Santa replied, "Jessica." If you've ever watched Santa Claus is Comin' to Town you'll understand. Soon enough, there were "visions of sugar plums dancing in heads". :)
So Santa came through and a merry time was had by all. That's it! Hope you had a Merry Christmas and here's to a Happy New Year!