Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Happenings

My husband rocks. He's an all-star. Not only did he set up the tree, he oversaw the decorating of three willing sets of hands.
He brought this about-to-lose-its-last-few-fake-needles of a tree down and stood it in it's rightful corner. My boys think it's beautiful. I think it's pathetic. But I also think that until we don't have baby hands picking at and pushing at the tree, I'm not willing to get a nice tree and make it look wonderful.
I love the Christmas seasons and all its traditions. I really do. But I do not love decorating a tree. At all. Thankfully, this year I sat back, snapped a few pictures, offered some (helpful) critiques, and enjoyed some hot tea.
Earlier this week we visited the Billy Graham Library to enjoy the many lights, the carolers, the live nativity, and the horse-drawn carriage rides.
No pictures of our family in the carriage... no sooner was it our turn and it started to rain! The timing was perfect, though, because the carriage was covered so we stayed dry.
Micah took one lick of his candy cane and decided it was "too hot" and didn't want it anymore. In a flash, Annalyse grabbed it and sucked away for the entire 15-minute ride. She loved it and went ballistic when I tried to take it away. I didn't mind her sucking the candy, but I thought the needle-sharp point she was making on the end could be a problem.
The rain stopped during our carriage ride to see the lights so the rest of the evening was enjoyable to walk around and see the live nativity. The boys wondered why the camels weren't eating or drinking. "They are just sitting there looking like they are bored or something," said Grady Lee.
The boys sat quietly and listened to a dear lady read the Christmas story, but turned to look at me with terrified looks when she closed the book and asked everyone to join her in singing "Away in a Manager." We tried to quickly scuffle out without disrupting too much.
In keeping with our tradition, we stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a treat on the way home. The boys felt especially cool because they paid for their own donuts using some quarters they had earned from chores at Grandma's house the week before.

Grady Lee had his donut gone in three bites with not a crumb to spare. Micah had his donut, well, seemingly everywhere but in his mouth. Sprinkles on his shirt. Chocolate on his face. Crumbs on his lap. He may be almost four, but the child still needs a bib!
The boys stayed busy this week doing several Christmas-related crafts. They painted and glued and sprinkled and cut and taped. I am not a crafty person, but show me a kid-friendly project and I can handle it. Ask me to make a wreath or use a hot glue gun or use modge podge and I get sweaty palms and a sick stomach.
For the record, these projects using lots and lots and lots of glue are still sitting in my garage drying and hardening. I'm sure they'll be cute when they dry, at least the picture I saw in a magazine sure looked cute. But for now, I've got colored glue concoctions sitting on top of my deep freezer and two boys that poke and prod them every few hours to "see if they're hard yet." 
Most of the several dozen sugar cookies we made this past week are gone already. I know, we're gluttons. The boys each chose a few of their favorites to put in the freezer "to save for Santa on Christmas Eve." It's up to me, now, to choose some self-control and not reach in and eat one when they're not looking.
The boys also stayed busy decorating (by smothering frosting and piling on candy to the) gingerbread house. I'd like to say they were meticulous in how they arranged the candies, but that just wasn't the case. They stayed focused and had fun for a good hour, but the end result was anything but neat and detailed.
Wait a minute, don't I have three children? Where could that littlest one have wandered off to while we worked on the gingerbread house...?
But of course! Enjoying a nice snack without interruption from her brothers. Smart girl. And she picked Cheeze-Its no less. Really smart girl.
Ta-da! The finished project. Every last smidgen of frosting is pasted on and every last piece of candy is artfully arranged. (Now where in the world do I put this thing for the next couple of weeks?)
After days filled with Christmas fun and tradition, we end it with a Christmas book. Some have been read way too many times and I think I have them memorized. Some have important biblical truths about the meaning behind the Christmas story. Some have nonsense fluff but are special just because they make you laugh and imagine.
The first week of December is over with three more to go. Three more to enjoy with laughter, experiences, memories, and intentional meaning.


  1. Love all your fun Christmas happenings!

  2. Absolutely adorable! The kids on the counter decorating their ginger bread house was TOO cute! And I love how proud they look with the finished product! What a great week of Christmas activities!! By the way, those big Q-tip snowflakes look COOL!

  3. your little girls is absolutely precious and dressed to the nines in every picture!!! what a cutie! and i'm with you on the christmas tree. someday i will enjoy decorating a beautiful tree with all my quirky perfectionism, but right now that is not a good combination for my 5 small sets of helpful hands. i lay out a pile of ornaments for each child to put on themselves and then i walk away and when i come back i promise myself only to move things if there are 20 ornaments on the same branch!!! otherwise i leave it alone :) -erica