Dec. 1 - Watch Mr. Krueger's Christmas. Easy enough. The only snag was Jared having to watch it twice this season due to the annual Krueger fest every year at work. One of many perks working for the church.
Dec. 2 - Make popcorn strings. Aside from an injury sustained by Marissa (as seen in the photo, but one that I can't at all remember), it was a success. The kids ate all the popcorn they could reach off the tree in the next few days. Also, not sure what's up with the outfits. Probably playing gymnastics?
The lovely popcorn on the tree
Dec. 4 - Watch "Joy to the World". This is kind of where things started to fall apart. It was a really busy day and I knew we wouldn't have much time. It's only like 4 minutes long and it was playing when I left for girls' night out, but the word is that the kids were running around like a bunch of crazies and didn't pay attention to the movie.
Dec. 5 -Play a Christmas game. Cheryl gave me the suggestion to play "Don't Eat Pete" at girls' night (good thing I went, eh?) This was a huge hit. The kids made a board with a bunch of Christmas pictures, then we added Cheerios, picked which picture was Pete while someone was out of the room and yelled "Don't Eat Pete!" as soon as the person attempted to eat him. Anyway, fun game. I have no idea why Connor has no shirt on. (Success! We're back on track.)
Dec. 6 - Read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" with a flashlight. Another busy night, I don't remember why, but I know we didn't do anything this day. (Failure!) But we did do this and another activity the next night. (Redemption) This one was pretty easy and you know, magical, because of the lighting and all.
Dec. 7 - Make Wassail. This was easy and tasty. I like the easy ones. My mom and sister came down to watch Marissa's dance dress rehearsal so they got to have some too.
Dec. 8 - Read or watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". Watching movies is always easy. We thought it was going to be the cartoon, but it ended up being the Jim Carrey version. Still good, but I like the other one better. (Still doing okay here)
Dec. 9 - Sing all the Christmas hymns. So this doesn't sound too hard, right? A little something to bring the Christmas spirit. Hahaha... First off, neither Jared nor I are really good enough to sit down and just play all the Christmas hymns, so we decided to each play a hand. A little comical, but it worked out. All except for the fact that we couldn't watch the kids. Connor was screaming the songs, which made Erin really mad. She kept trying to move away from him, which made Alex mad because he couldn't see the book. I know there was something with Marissa getting pushed off something and some fight, but I can't tell you the details due to the fact that I was busy butchering the songs. Oh, can't forget about the baby crying in the other room almost the entire time. But we made it through all of them (for some reason). Now we know, singing hymns=family fight. (Disaster)
Dec. 10 -Make Rice Crispy ornaments, or if you are Connor it would be Rice Cris-beans. Other than the recipe being a little dry and half of it sticking to the pan, I'd say this went okay. Wait, we also couldn't string the Twizzlers through the marshmallows like the magazine said to--they make it seem sooo easy. Uh, ours look nothing like theirs either. (I'll give this one a 7 out of 10, maybe 6.5)
Dec. 11 - Go see Santa. This is one of those that you know is going to be kind of a pain, but still sounds like a good idea in theory. Kids should get to sit on his lap every year. Let me try to paint the picture. Santa was only at Thanksgiving Point on Tuesdays from 6-8 pm. We left just after 6:00 because I had to be back by 7:30 for a meeting. Surely it wouldn't take that long. Surely it did. It took longer in fact. It was hot, the kids were restless and loud and screaming ring -around-the-rosies and knocking things over--did I mention we also had our 6 and 4 year old neighbors with us? I was frazzled and antsy and never did make it to my meeting. Granted, Santa was probably the nicest Santa I have ever met. Real beard and all. He had to have been dying in that hot suit, and yet he had plety of time to ask our kids what they wanted. Still, I can't help but think that he was the reason the line took so long. So, nope, we will never see Santa at Thanksgiving Point again.
This was at the beginning of the line (still somewhat manageable)
Dec. 12 - Go caroling to grandparents (like over the phone). Did not happen. Ever. Which is probably for the best looking back at the hymn fiasco. This was the start of everyone getting sick.
Dec. 13 - Deliver gifts to those in need. (Fail, fail, fail) My idea was to pick names off one of those giving trees, go shopping as a family and then drop the stuff off. We just plain didn't do it. Everyone was really sick by this point and nobody was leaving the house.
Dec. 14 - Go see the lights at Temple Square. Same as above. I sort of planned on going just after Christmas, but that never happened either. I'm sure they were great.
Dec. 15 - Watch a classic Christmas movie. Okay, finally one that sick people can do. I was imagining "It's a Wonderful Life" or "Charlie Brown's Christmas" but somehow those didn't make the cut. I can't for the life of me remember what we actually watched, but I'm sure it wasn't a classic. Probably some cheesy, low budget Christmas show. And knowing my kids, it was probably about a talking animal, making it that much worse.
Dec. 16 - Act out the nativity. Still sick. We did nothing this day. Let me rephrase that. My family did nothing this day. I got to go to church with just the baby. But, I figure that this activity still counted because they got to act it out twice at family Christmas parties. (Still failing, but bonus points for this one)
Dec. 17 - White elephant gifts. Everyone was STILL SICK!!! I really thought this one would be fun, so we did it a couple of days after Christmas. It was loved by all. My kids liked passing them around as we read the left/right story, and the gifts were precious. Cotton balls, an old hook, a pair of underwear, some random left over stocking stuffers, and a rock. (At last, a good activity)
Dec. 18 - Make gingerbread houses. People were finally feeling better. Halleluiah! I bought a village kit with one house for each of them. So, it was a little high maintenance for the parents, a couple of walls caved in and some minor fights over candy broke out, but over all--not bad. Yeah, and just how disgusting was it that Marissa and Connor ate every bit of theirs over the next week? Whatever. (Back on track again)
Don't be fooled, this kid didn't help at all with his
Poor Hallie fell asleep in her bumbo while we were
ignoring her decorating.
Dec. 20 - Dance to Christmas music. This lasted for I think 3 songs. Always fun, but we'd been doing it a lot since Thanksgiving so there was no novelty in it.
Dec. 21 - Look at Christmas lights, not to be confused with the lights at Temple Square. We used to drive around and look at all the cool house lights in Florida. This time we basically went to one house not too far away which had over 100,000 choreographed lights set to music. It was a great show and we didn't have to drive to Salt Lake and battle the hoards of people. (Major bonus)
Dec. 22 - Make Christmas cookies. I think I intend to do this one every year because I always did it as a kid. But I can't actually recall a year when I have done it. In my defense, I did have a fever of 103 this day. And Jared and the kids got to go to a fun Christmas party with stuff that was just as good as Christmas cookies, I'm sure. (Can't feel bad about that)
Dec. 23 - Take family pictures. I was still sick and didn't go to church, but I managed to shower, get dressed and try to look like a healthy person before I plunked back on the couch for the rest of the day. I guess it worked. One of these ended up on our family Christmas card this year. Oh, and yes, I am one of those moms that makes my kids dress alike. I think because I always loved doing it when I was a kid. We didn't actually have real matching outfits too much, but I remember always trying to come up with something that matched. I'm probably a weirdo. Anyway, the boys love matching, and Marissa still does too. Erin, not so much. She does it because I sort of make her, but she is so annoyed that Marissa likes to match her. This may be the last year for them. Sad.
And... guess whose idea it was to have them stand in order. But seriously, who can resist? Girl, boy, girl, boy girl? All two years apart? It's perfect.
I like this one because it shows their personalities. And Hallie trying to soothe herself with her thumb.
I love this sweet baby Hallie! I love her little dress too.
Dec. 24 - Open one present. My kids thought it was open one present as a family, but I wanted them to each open a present--their Christmas pajamas. (Can't go wrong with presents)