Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Little Traditions

Traditions old and new accompanied our family this season.  We started the beloved Elf on the Shelf with some regret.
Number one, Henry could have cared less most days and took a good 5 days to even convince him the elf was worth finding.  In his words "mommy I stared at him for a long, long, time and he is not real.  I think Santa is playing a trick on us."  Oh silly Santa, and silly mommy for starting this whole thing.  He did eventually have fun with "Jelly Jack" and loved the treats and little notes he would bring.  We did Elf on the Shelf "Jesus Style" where he brought a note of scripture and an act of kindness to perform that day.  We enjoyed decorating the trash cans for our sanitation workers, sending notes or goodies to neighbors with lovely Christmas displays, putting money in the Salvation Army bucket (super fun because H decided to put in his own dough as well and the lady let him ring the bell), and baking treats for the fire department.

As a child we had an advent calendar that my sisters and I loved.  Each morning we would wake up and "move the mouse" to that days date.  I found a cute angel calendar this year and used her to signal our countdown.  Each day we read a small pocket book from our advent calendar stories and placed it in the angel.  It was a nice way to start each day unfolding a bit more of the Christmas story each day.
We watched the classic Christmas cartoons and Henry really enjoyed them all but his favorite was Frosty.  
This little darling added sass and fun to our Christmas.  I impressed with her ability to follow directions because I pretty much expected for her to be the kid to take all the ornaments off the tree.  She liked to touch and admire but never in a rough way.  

When we started the Christmas season and began talking about the reason behind all of our celebrations Henry said "well that's fun but we should have a birthday cake for him too."  I know several people who do that as part of their Christmas celebration and think it is a sweet idea but it isn't something I grew up with.  Lucky for Henry his preschool class had a very special day with a birthday party for Jesus.  They decorated cupcakes and ice-cream and blew out candles as they sang "happy birthday dear Jesus, happy birthday to you."  My little man was thrilled.
 We had fun with an old friend when Henry and Mallie Lynn attended a Christmas themed music class.  They could both showed off their reindeer song moves for days. 
This season was so ridiculously warm and we tried to take advantage of it.  Our neighborhood has quite a few nice displays and we loved getting out in the evening and going for walks to admire them all.

Christmas pj cuddles with daddy.

We were baking machines this year.  I tried to break out all my moms usual recipes, attempting chocolate, and peanut butter fudge for the first time, chocolate peppermint cookies for my families cookie party and the always fun sugar cookies.  The sugar cookies were my favorite, not for their taste but for fun as my little side kick helped decorate.  
We had lots of fun dropping them off to neighbors, grandparents, and the fire station.  Of course when ya give cookies to firefighters you better dress the part.  
This season of life is so busy keeping up with a house and two little dolls.  I had very few nights of sit down and relax time but so enjoyed my late nights wrapping and Christmas movie watching.  In true E Coop style I made sure every present was covered in glitter and bows were tied just right.
There was more sticky fun when we decorated our gingerbread house.  Henry wasn't quite sure he wanted to help if we were putting candy on something to look at and not eat so we made sure to taste test as we went along.  
This year's traditions and fun were a whirlwind of mess, delight, happiness, and exhaustion and I can only hope it is equally as fun in the future.  

Monday, December 28, 2015

Deck the Halls

We had extra help in trimming the tree this year.  It was so sweet to watch their eyes light up with excitement at the sight of it all.  Mallie Lynn loved every moment of fun decorating brought to our house and made everything just a bit more fun than before. 
Cue the Charlie Brown Christmas music, fix broken lights, break some ornaments, hang a few, pause for a tickle fest, play with the ornaments, that's how we trimmed our tree.  Oh and it may have taken more than one attempt to get it all done.  :) Why not stretch out a good thing?

As a child I loved visiting my Granny and Pepaw's house during Christmas and seeing all their decorations.  A few years back they passed down this vintage little gem and Mallie Lynn loved the addition to her room.  It became our nightly routine to turn it off while reading and tell it bye bye when getting into bed. 

There were ornaments to pet. 
Ornaments to eat. 
Some to hang.
lights to touch
berries to squeeze
pine needles to feel
ornaments to play with, (and eventually break).  :)
X wings to fly
and an angel to place at the top of it all. 
 After phase 1 in putting up the tree (with kids) and phase 2 (without kids)  we were able to sit down to enjoy the warm glow and cozy feeling it gives our home.  Watching Charlie Brown, the Grinch and Rudolph with these two little snuggle bugs were some of my favorite moments of all.