Now that we have done some of our annual traditions, it is beginning to feel a little more like Christmas. Each year we draw names in our family. Yesterday we went to Target and let each person purchase a gift for the person whose name they drew. Brian and I divide up the kids to help them shop. It is amusing watching the children when we accidentally pass each other in the store. Everyone tries to "peek" into the other cart to spot their gift. We were smart this year and used Andrew's blankets to cover the items in the carts.
Last night the children decorated gingerbread houses. In the past I have used graham crackers, made my own icing, bought all the candies, etc. That was a lot of work and I didn't even make the gingerbread! For the past 2 years I've bought kits that contain all the gingerbread pieces, icing, and candies. This has been much less stressful. I want to make memories with my kids, but I don't want that memory to be of me being stressed/aggravated.
I bought 3 kits this year. The children paired up to work on the houses. (Ashley and Luke, Emily and Kathryn, Hayley and Will.) I think they all did a great job. They enjoyed seeing what the other groups came up with and were very complimentary to one another. Emily is to be commended for being willing to work with a 23 month old. Thankfully the kits came with extra gingerbread people to decorate. Eventually Kathryn was happy to decorate them and eat the candy.
Today we decorated our tree. We did this while Kathryn was asleep. Each year I give the children a new ornament. I try to chose ornaments that represents something that happened during the past year. I also bought a couple of family ornaments. Brian said if I didn't buy us something each year that when the children were gone we would have a bare tree!
Family- Star Wars; Santa wearing shorts and flip-flops and holding a surf board.
Brian introduced the children to Star Wars this year. Over the past year they have watched all 6 episodes with some editing. They all love the movies. I do not care for science fiction/fantasy movies or books at all. I haven't seen more than a few minutes of any of the movies, however I am glad this is something they can share with Daddy.
Santa of course refers to our move to CA.
Ashley- a different Star Wars ornament
Emily- an "I love gymnastics" ornament
Hayley- a dog (She asks for one every year for her birthday and Christmas.)
Luke- a baseball player (Luke played t-ball for the first time this year.)
Will- Lightning McQueen and Sally from his favorite movie, Cars
Kathryn- Madame Alexander doll (just because it was cute)
Andrew- Pooh "My First Christmas" ornament