Christmas with kids is so magical. I think it's the combination of everything- twinkly lights everywhere, unlimited hot chocolate, unwavering belief, family traditions- it makes my heart skip a beat.
Some things I want to remember about December:
One of the traditions we've carried on and sort of tweaked from my childhood is December 1st! Where we make cookies and get new Christmas jammies. It's both delicious and cozy. Last year I found a book called The Pajama Elves that we read and then their new jammies are "mysteriously" delivered! Jillian was especially impressed that her jammies were made with some gold thread- it was magic thread in her opinion.
The first real snow! Olivia's face says it all...those girls couldn't wait to get suited up that day and roll around in it all! I happily watched from indoors wrapped in a blanket with a mug of cocoa.
There is still work to be done in the snowman department...to their credit, it's not like I grew up building these, so I'm not entirely sure of the best method either! But it didn't matter- they were proud nevertheless.
Normally I try to pack in as much Christmas related hooplah as I can in December to make it last just a little longer, but this year I didn't have that kind of energy (thanks fetus). Though I almost didn't mind at all because we got to pick a few of our favorite things to go do and savor all of the little things about Christmas and really enjoy our outings. One such outing was seeing the lights on Temple Square! It was packed (always) and freezing (of course), but the display there is always beautiful. It also helped that we got some hot, delicious mini donuts afterward from the Art City Donuts food truck!
Decorating gingerbread houses at one of our family Christmas parties was Jillian's favorite! She is such a crafter and was so meticulous and detailed about every single piece of candy that went on her house. By the time she was done, every square inch of that board was covered! It was one of those things that we had to leave on the counter and admire for days and that I had to throw away after she went to bed then hope she didn't notice the next morning...you know those kinds of projects.
Olivia was just really happy to see at a table full of unwrapped candy!
On Christmas Eve, the girls and I started the day by cleaning (my new favorite parenting trick ever is to say "Santa won't deliver new toys if..." pretty much the whole month of December- it made clean-ups a breeze). So we had to prep the house for Santa. ;-) Then we decorated sugar cookies and arranged them on a plate with carrots for Santa and his reindeer. That night we went to Grandma & Dave's house for dinner and presents! One of my favorite things was that Olivia got some animal figurines and one of them was a kangaroo, but she didn't know what it was called so she just referred to it as a "boing"!
The whole ride home from Grandma's, Jillian was using an app on my phone that can call or text Santa, to make sure he had everything that was on her list. She was very worried that she never actually mailed her letter, so she needed something "express".
And of course, Christmas morning! We put the stockings in our girls room before we go to bed (a tip I picked up from my parents), that way when they wake up it keeps them entertained and in their rooms for a little bit so we, the parents, get to sleep for a few more minutes! Plus it's really fun to gradually wake up and hear their "ooos and aaahs" coming from the next room.
This was the first year we didn't have our usual big Christmas brunch, the way I always did it growing up, because our church starts at 11! But we embraced Christmas dinner instead and I think it turned out just fine! I put together a little video of our day:
All in all it was a wonderful month- as always! Though to be completely selfish I AM glad it's over, because as the weeks went by I finally started feeling human again (thanks to finally getting to that second trimester)- plus we have some really fun things to look forward to in 2017! All good things...all good things.