Thursday, January 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Christmas in Review

Disclaimer: heavy picture post!

Okay, it's not much of a Throwback, but it was fun to look at all our Christmas stuff again from this past year.  There is no need to talk about how horrible our holiday season was last year. If you want to know you can get filled in here and here.

I will say this much.  In the midst of this season of our lives, there was no way that this year was going to be worse than last year.

So we are still living with my in-laws, a year later.  We completely expected to be long gone by now, but God had other plans.  I picked and choose which decorations we were going to use (cutting back quite a bit because of space).

We had this basket -- our advent calendar.

A wrapped book for each night, starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving all the way to Christmas Eve.  We added the blanket this year to cuddle under while we watching Christmas movies and reading out books.  
We had our tree, stockings and nativity set.  That was it.  We were okay with that.  It was festive without being overwhelming.

We added a new activity to our holiday events.  Our local tree lighting.  

One of the best parts of Christmas for me this year was ...

Christmas in Wisconsin!  My brother was up from Atlanta, and we drove up.  We had not had the whole family together since Little Miss's first birthday.  She just turned 4!  It was a great time that went way, way to fast.

Although we usually go to the Christmas Concert at Church on Christmas Eve, we went on the 23rd this year.  Little Miss here is now too old for the childcare at the concert and was able to sit with me.  As you can see she was pretty excited.  I was prepared though - newest Barbies, coloring books, crayons and stickers!

We do a candle lighting at the end of the service.  We have a new senior pastor this year and he is amazing.  I love this place and am so happy to get to worship here multiple times a week.

Usually we do our baking a day or two before Christmas, and we just couldn't this year.  So we limited ourselves to sugar cookies and chocolate chip.  We did a lot of other baking too though.

"Mommy, can we make sure we save some dough so I can make some with Daddy?"  Simple request, easily fulfilled.  Plus he got home before the last tray had to go in the oven - not that it would have mattered at all.  She was going to get to make some cookies with Daddy.  

Advantage of the super cold spells - no need to find room in the fridge!  Stick the dough outside.  Best 2 tips for sugar cookies.  Super cold dough and wax paper.  
Christmas Eve Night we kept our traditions this year!  Our Christmas Pizza's.  The candy cane is cheese and sausage, the sausage making the stripes.  The other is a Christmas tree with ham, pepperoni, sausage and pineapple. I even took a tiny cookie cutter and cut the ham into ornament shapes.  

Can't forget about our Christmas PJ's and new movie.  This year we got Santa Paws.  However, there was no way we were going to watch it.  I watched in on Netflix to make sure it was okay.  It would have lead to way, way to many questions.  We put in a safer one (Santa Buddies) and still cuddled and watched our movie.

They each picked 2 cookies for Santa.  Then this conversation happened,

"Mommy, we forgot the reindeer.  They need some carrots."

"Okay."  I hand her 3.  She looks at me.  "Is that enough?"

"Mommy, there are 8 reindeer.  We need 8 carrots."

"Well, OK.  Let's count til we get to 8."

We get it ready, put it on the table and go to bed.  15 minutes later, "Mommy, we forgot Rudolph!  He needs some broccoli to help his nose glow."

Although it stinks a little we are still here Christmas was not effected.  I take that back.  It was, but in a good way.  I was able to do a lot of the little things I would do if the party was at my house.  It ended up making the day go better for my in-laws for some reason.

My favorite time of the year is technically only 10 months away ... let's get real I will start celebrating and preparing in September!  Even though I keep the spirit in my heart all year long.

How do you keep the spirit alive all year?

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