Friday, January 09, 2015

Christmas 2014

The Christmas season came in quickly this year since Thanksgiving was so late in November. Black Friday was basically the very end of November and I did 3/4 of the Christmas shopping that weekend. We had planned to go to see Santa the next weekend, but Allen was working on a Christmas video for school and so some of our plans were put off. It was a very busy Christmas season, but we still managed to decorate the house, get a tree, go to Snowy Nights, drive through Starry Nights, look at neighborhood Christmas lights and get gifts for all.

I tried to focus on more Christmas fun and create less entitlement this year. Rather than allow the kids a present each day from our advent tree, each day contained a note of something we were to do. For instance, read a Christmas book, sing a Christmas song, make hot chocolate, etc. I did allow a small gift each weekend up to Christmas, but I think I may not even do that next year.

I normally do not enjoy decorating and taking down the Christmas tree, but this year the kids helped with both projects. They loved seeing all of my childhood ornaments and insisted on putting most of them on the tree in addition to the ones belonging to our family. Taking everything down was fun, too. They enjoyed finding all of theirs on the tree and putting them in their very own box that I got this year because we have too many now for just one family box.

The kids had some great Christmas experiences at school as well. In addition to spending a lot of time on the story of Jesus' birth, the kids enjoyed "sleigh rides" with a visit from Santa, and Luke's class wrote letters to Santa now that they have been working on writing sentences. His was precious because he phonetically spelled everything, giving it his most sincere effort.

I tried to really drill into the kids this year that all the Christmas hoopla was great, but that the real reason for Christmas was Jesus, and the only reason we get gifts is because the wise men brought him gifts, and we get to duplicate that with those we love. At least, that's my story. Luke was all about Legos this year. Legos, Legos, Legos. He asked Santa for police and firefighter Legos. Santa brought those and a Batbot (Batman remote control robot thing) along with a few other little things. Lacey wanted a grocery store, shopping cart and cash register, which she got from Santa, along with some other small items.

Lacey got a leotard, tights and a tutu to go with her gift of ballet classes from Mommy and Daddy. She gets to start those in January after asking me for months if she could take ballet. She also got a Frozen themed robe and Frozen underwear. We gave Luke Star Wars phonics books, which he has loved reading, 2 new Wii games, and an Anakin figure.

We spent Christmas Eve at Nanna and Grandpa's with the cousins and Granny Dot and Grand Dad. Christmas morning we saw Grammie, Tee and Uncle Kyle for a short time. We later went to Christmas dinner at Aunt Beverly's house.

Here's several pictures of our Christmas season:

Bartlett Christmas parade. 

Kids Christmas program. Lacey is left of center in the front.

Luke and Sr K wore red noses for "Rudolph"

Horse pulled "sleigh rides" at school.

Lacey as Buddy the Elf. She totally looks like him! Hysterical!

Kids 2014 Ornaments.
This was the year Lacey really got into the Disney princesses.

And this was the first year Luke really became interested, and then obsessed, with video games. We don't have very many games, but it has worked well as a reward system. :)

Decorating their little playroom tree

Luke pulling a note out of one of our advent tree pockets. 

Baking gingerbread men cookies with Grammie

Attempting a gingerbread didn't hold together. 
We'll try again next year!

Christmas Eve at Nanna and Grandpa's with the Emerson cousins

Grand Dad and Granny Dot were there visiting from Texas

Girl cousin fun!

Christmas morning!

Santa came!

Daddy and Luke spent most of the day putting together legos!

 Mommy helped Lacey paint her nails with the nail polish Santa left in her stocking.

The day after Christmas Lacey and I went shopping for deals, and by the weekend all the Christmas stuff was put away.  And it felt good.

New Year's Eve the kids and I got pizza and watched The Little Rascals and enjoyed a low key stay-at-home night since Allen was in Texas for his cousin's wedding.

Here's to many blessings and fun in 2015!