On our first evening at Grandma and Grandpa's house, the girls made Christmas cookies with one of their cousins:
In general I think it's fair to say that we all ate plenty of sugar:
The angel on the top of the Christmas tree at my parents' house was the same one that's been there my entire life:
On Christmas Eve Day morning (our first morning there), when it was only 9 a.m. but my daughters and I had been awake for hours and needed something to do, I took them downtown for a cozy coffee date amidst the whirling winter wind, swirling snow, and lit-up shop windows. We'd had a restless night and were in intense need of diversion, distraction, and the largest to-go cup of coffee known to man (or tired mom).
Oh, and the kids' puzzle page in the local newspaper.
We got dressed up for the candlelight Christmas Eve church service:
Notes were left for Santa on Christmas Eve (along with a plate of cookies plus carrots for the reindeer):
"Mama, Santa makes smiley faces just like you." -- Julia.
On Christmas Day the family gathered to open presents and have Christmas dinner:
"God bless this house and everyone in it."
new running hoodie
new swimming hoodie
the (little) kids' table
And at the end of the night, one tiny elf was mighty tired....
please don't ever grow up.
(Does anyone remember that old children's storybook, The Littlest Angel? For some reason this photo reminds me of it so much! I honestly hadn't thought of that book for years and years--probably since I was a child--and have only the vaguest memory of it, but when I uploaded this pic of Vivi today the title just popped into my head. I know my household owned a copy of the book when I was small, and I guess an impression of it lived in the deep recesses of my memory bank all this time. What I wouldn't give to see a vintage copy of that book again now!)
As you can see, we had a lovely, traditional, extended-family Christmas up on the frozen, snow-swept prairie. I hope that you had a holiday just as lovely, wherever you happened to be, and with whom. Next up for us, a big annual kid-friendly New Year's party at the local gymnastics club, hosted by some great friends who rent the place out each year and invite oodles of families. We have a potluck dinner, the kids run all over the gym, and we do a faux "countdown" at 7 p.m., complete with horns and noisemakers and hats.
And then a new year begins. And I have plans for that, too, but we'll talk about that another time.
Happy Holidays and love to you.