Lily sort of understood the whole idea of Santa this year, and she certainly knows what a present is. I have done a lot of thinking about this past holiday season, and I will organize my thoughts a little better in a post coming up. This year was so wonderful, and it really got me thinking about what traditions I remember and which ones (new and old) that I want to pass on to my kids.
We started out the season the weekend after Thanksgiving, a tradition we will keep, so up went the tree. Ben was pretty tickled about the whole thing, and Lily wanted to put out every decoration we own. Matt inherited more than a few Dept 56 houses from his grandparents (which he has such fond memories of setting up = tradition we will definitely keep), but this year we decided it was too many delicate pieces for too many little fingers. Our tree was not as short and fat as I like, but it smelled amazing. It did stop drinking water as soon as we got it in the stand, and by mid-December it was so droopy and dry you couldn't walk by it without a bucket of needles falling off. The kids couldn't have cared less, as long as it was plugged in from 7am-7pm.
Matt strung the outside lights, but the ones on the second floor weren't working. He never did make it back up there to fix them. Eh, maybe next year. I hung the beautiful wreath my dad made (another tradition I would like to have passed down). Overall I think Colby was pretty impressed.
On the weekend of the 9th we went to breakfast with Santa. I already posted the picture of the kids with the world's youngest Santa Claus, so here are a few from breakfast and crafts. I don't think we will keep up this tradition...at least not this particular breakfast. Tickets were expensive, and too many Santa sightings this year made Lily feel like seeing the big guy wasn't a big deal.
The following weekend we went to Vivi (Silva) and J's to decorate cookies. This is a must keep tradition. So much more fun with friends than alone in our kitchen. Also, J makes the best Bloody Marys ever.
A few days after cookies we packed up and made the hour drive to Edaville. On our drive down the sky was looking ominous despite there being no rain in the forecast Matt and I joked that the world might actually be coming to an end the following day and that we had better hurry up and ride the flying elephants. It was sprinkling by the time we got to Carver so we decided to stop at McDonalds for a little dinner before trying the park. I sat in the car and nursed Ben, Matt ordered Lily her first ever happy meal...which she wouldn't eat...go figure. By the time we were done with dinner, the rain had stopped and we were raring to go. The is another must keep tradition!
The following day we packed up our sled with all the foof for the Who girls and boys and headed to Maine. It was a looooong drive. The weather was terrible, and local traffic getting to the highway was nuts, but we made it and that is all that matters. The few days leading up to Christmas were filled with family and quick trips out to the mall to get "one last thing". (Sidenote: I am well aware that Lily is wearing her winter hat both indoors and out in almost every picture. I honestly don't even notice it anymore. She insists on wearing it 18 hours a day.)
And then came the big day! Christmas morning at my parents' house followed by Christmas afternoon and evening at Matt's parents' house. My mom and dad have started hosting the entire family so that Matt and I don't have to drag the kids all over town. It is big, and loud, and there are people everywhere. In short, it is total chaos. I love it all.
Matt's mom and dad's Christmas is smaller (Mimi, Doe, Aunt Becky, and the four of us), much more quiet, and relaxed. Each present is beautifully wrapped, we listen to Christmas music, and drink our coffee. It is equally wonderful, in a completely different way. This year Santa even ordered up a little snow!
Thank you again to everyone who helped us make so many wonderful memories for not only my kids, but for Matt and me as well.