Christmas 2015 in the books. We laughed, we cried, Santa came, Santa left. It was a jolly good time had by all. Can you tell I have forgotten everything from five months ago. I am looking through my photos on my phone to jog my memory. This post is so delayed because of well....my life! I'm tired and there are lunches to be made and a rug that needs vacuuming. I can think of 800 more pressing things to do but if I don't get these memories down I will probably forget.
(Disclaimer I actually wrote the following in February so it was still a little fresh....and then I couldn't get my stupid pictures to upload and now it's May...."F" it, here it is.)
So for the past two years I braved North Park to see jolly St. Nick. This year I grew a brain and decided my time was better spent doing.....shoot, doing anything BUT standing in line to see the North Park Santa. I get it, I do. He is very well groomed and costumed. It is the same guy every year. So basically you have a great photo display of the same Santa for the years your kids will sit on his lap. Again, you do you North Park Santa. I just didn't have it in me this year.
Downtown Neiman Marcus you have changed my holiday experience . We parked 10 feet from the door. Walked 10 feet to the line. Waited 10 minutes. Saw the nicest friendliest Santa who spoke to my children and was jolly! He was so sweet I really wanted to go in for a hug myself. It doesn't take a lot to get Ridge to smile but ol' Raleigh is a crap shoot. Major props to the photographer. He was just as funny and sweet as the big guy! There is just something about seeing Santa through the eyes of children. Standing in line watching to older kids ahead of us in line made my heart just fill with happiness.
Trimming the Tree
Is that a real thing? Do people cut/shape their tree. I wouldn't know. I am from a fake tree family and that is all I know. Pre-lit or go home. Christmas decorating with small children is not the fire glowing, hot chocolate drinking, matching pjs I had imagined. Maybe one day, I am not counting it out but have you met my children? After digging ornament hooks from Ridge's mouth and the 100th ornament flying across the room I decorated the tree after those busy bodies went to bed. And then redecorated it about 50 times until every decoration was on the top half of the tree. Lesson learned. Hey, whoever invented the "plastic but looks like glass" ornament....good for you! It was probably a mom...just sayin'.
I am a total sucker for a nativity play. I mean, a two year old acting like a pregnant woman. Just stop the cuteness. This was both boys first Christmas play. Their school director asked me to paint a butcher paper backdrop. I believe the exact dimensions she asked for were 4x4 feet. That was not going to do for my children's stage debut. We dropped the full stage screen and I created multiple digital scenes to accompany the performance.....because I'm insane. No really because I wanted it to be super special for all of the kids. It was hilarious. Ridge was made for the stage! AND Raleigh actually wore a costume...sort of....it was a hoodie with donkey ears but it was still a costume! Oh the cuteness!
Christmas Eve Church
Because the holidays aren't stressful enough let's pile in the car in our nicest clothes and force our children to be quiet for more than 2 minutes right around that dreaded witching hour. The last few years we have been attending Christmas eve service with my sweet sis and her family. Her church knocks it out of the park with music so I thought the more noise the better. The pastor always puts everyone at ease before the service and reminds us that the birth of Christ was probably pretty noisy....being in a barn full of animals and a women giving birth with no drugs. Ridge was wonderful but my sweet two year old bolted about 30 minutes in and ran full sprint up and down the aisles. I wholeheartedly acted like I didn't know him. Swear. I let Mr. R take care of him. In real life I mouthed "who's kid is that?!?!?!" (disapproving face). Uh, but we survived, like we always do.
My sweet babes are still so little. I'm not sure Raleigh understood the whole "Santa" part of it. I can only imagine how much more fun it will be in years to come. Raleigh of course would not wear the new Christmas jammies I bought for him and opted for a more eclectic look. SMH! But we had fun non the less. Biggest hit of the morning....Chuggington stickers and real leaf blower and Ridge was pretty stoked about the zoo animals!
We are so lucky to have family so close. Getting together is not uncommon but seeing the more extended family is always fun. Raleigh loves being with his older cousins, aunts, and uncles. We are so very blessed!
|Christmas morning brunch with the R crew|
|Headed to the farm!|
Home-made Christmas Presents
It is a tradition I absolutely LOVE! It is so easy to forget what this holiday is about when we are surrounded by "stuff". So about 16 years ago my family started going back to the basics. There is always an official/unofficial contest for the best homemade gift. I really thought I had it in the bag this year and then Mary Grace came out of no where and stole the show. Dang it 11 year old and your fun fresh ideas. She totally rocked a hand made Texas pillow. They were awesome. A vintage button over Dallas. We also had rustic photo displays with personal pics and quotes, herb garden, salad dressing, salsa, outdoor art installation, toy bins, "toot-toot-ta loos" (by Raleigh), and more....eeerrrr, I can't remember. I made a camp fire song book with a Spotify playlist in case your guitarist couldn't make the trip. I used songs that were really just special to our family. Lots of Lionel Richie, Oak Ridge Boys, old country stuff. This is a tradition I hope never dies. Watching the littles get into it has made it even more fun. Next year I will be better about taking pictures of everything!
This pic pretty much sums it up!