Welcome back friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with their family and friends celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and making memories. I have to admit, that our Christmas this year was very low key. If you remember, last year I was expecting and felt that I took on way too much than my poor body allowed. Plus we had just moved into a new home a few months prior and were still trying to find our way around the home and make it ours. Even so, after I had the baby at the end of December (he will be one on Wednesday, could you imagine) and things were a bit settled, I thought that this Christmas I would be able to do more.
Well, the house was decorated and we did a few activities but nothing like I planned. I felt like last year and the years prior we did more and kept up with most of our favorite Christmas traditions. The one thing we really love doing as a family on Christmas is going light watching. Even that was skipped this year. Well, maybe not totally because we see the lights as we drive through the neighborhood all the time. But it is definitely not the same as making it a special event and sipping on hot coca while on our way.
Despite our circumstances, I am so very thankful for the hope that was brought to us during what we celebrate as Christmas. I used to love Christmas as a kid. But watching our kids excitement grow throughout the season is one of the best things. Their excitement over everything Christmas – the lights, the gifts, the baking, the giving, the activities, just about everything. Through it all, we want to make sure that our Children understand the true meaning of Christmas. With that in mind, the girls and I were able to do the Christmas story again using the printables I created last year. I printed out this one from the year prior for our 2 year old but we did not get to it (it gets pinned like crazy around Christmas time, though). The girls did an amazing job learning Matthew 1:21, understanding it in their own language, of course.
And as we read each verse daily or sometimes we bundled a few verses together, they did the printable activities that went along with each one. We then cut them out and glued them to a black poster board to create a manger scene. It was so much fun to watch our 5 year old daughter point to the pictures and retell the story.
Remember this Advent calendar I made for the kids this year? We were able to use it to count down to Christmas. Once again, the kids seemed to understand it. When we got down to about 5 days before Christmas, one child exclaimed “Look mama, we are almost there to Christmas!”
Here are some photos of the kids Christmas events.
On December 22, our second daughter turned 3. We try to keep birthdays and holidays separate. So in the midst of Christmas we did a family party for her. I also had one of her special friends come over for a fun play date with her, the Friday prior.
Then on Wednesday, the Eve of the Eve, my husband was out someplace so I did another activity with the girls. We watched Frozen and drank hot cocoa and tea and ate Christmas cookies. After watching Frozen a gazillion times in the past, it was sort of nice to bring it out as a refresh for the girls. Their interest seemed to have come back again. And of course, you gotta have a princess dress on for this event – it’s Christmas after all!
I have drank so much hot cocoa this season it is so not funny – enough to last a decade. It is definitely one of my favorite cold weather drinks.
Every Christmas Eve, during the day, we like to do an outside activity as a family. This year, we were heading to the Mall early to beat the crowds but that plan did not work out so we went to Chuck E Cheese instead. The girls were ecstatic!
Then on Christmas Eve night, we have started doing an activity where we open a gift, usually containing a new set of pajamas and some other fun activities during the night. But like I said earlier, things were a bit different this year. So instead, I allowed the girls to wear new outfits to bed that I had bought a little earlier. They were super excited! Here they are on Christmas morn, opening their first gift while wearing the outfits.
I loved receiving this very special personalized gift from a little girl that I babysit a few days a week.
I prepared dinner early (it was just our family) and my girls did so well eating from “big people” plates. It was so cute to watch. They sat quietly and ate with etiquette as if they were out at some fancy high end restaurant.
I did not get a chance to put the tablescape up on the blog but here is a shot of the full thing.
Christmas night we decorated a gingerbread house. Or tried to:=) Hey, it was so relaxing – the girls kept saying, how much fun they were having.
And of course, the best part is getting to eat it. At least part of it. I kept the bulk of it for another day but threw it out two days ago. I could not bare to watch the kids eat all that sweet.
These are just a few other random shots of the day’s events. And of course, this little boy’s play was just as normal. Christmas? What’s that! He will be one tomorrow, you all. I just cannot believe how fast he is growing.
Anyway, while I would like to show you a bunch of photos, my computer does not want to cooperate so I guess that’s enough for now.
How was your Christmas? I would love to know how it went in the comments below!