This year, I just did not want the Christmas season to end. Brody saw Christmas through new eyes this year, since he was able to understand and participate so much more. We did a lot of fun activities over the Christmas holidays and everything was so much more exciting because of his enthusiasm, and watching his see and do things for the first time.
We made cookies one afternoon. My sister in law gave us the cookie cuters and a package a dough as an early Christmas gift, so we took an afternoon to make and decorate cookies. Although a bit messy, and kids had a lot of fun. Brody was a big fan of the frosting. Atta boy.
My aunt Sue had bought Autumn and Brody their own cookie cutters a little while back. Mixed in with our Christmas cookies were crowns and trains!
It had been a few years since we did gingerbread houses and of course, it was completely new to Brody. I thought I'd save myself a lot of work and just use graham crackers and frosting - elementary school style. Well, it turned out to be an epic fail. The frosting didn't really hold anything together. Shortly after, I remembered that even in school we used the special kind of icing that hardened very quickly.
Despite everything falling apart and not sticking all that well, the kids had fun and it was a great family home evening activity one night after church. Adam even managed to put together a train for Brody.
My best friend Ashli mailed the kids some crafts to do over the Christmas break. They were great to pull out on a cold day when we stayed in. Autumn was also a great helper this year for wrapping presents.
Something we did often was go look at Christmas lights. Whenever we found ourselves at Nana's, there was little argument to leave when I said we'd drive around and find new lights. We drove around different neighborhoods and of course made a stop at the local free drive through light show. Brody loved it. "Wook Momma! Wook! Wook!"
Again, I continued the tradition of having the family over for a Christmas Eve dinner. Grandpa was on hand to help Autumn write her letter to Santa, and leave cookies for him as well as carrots for the reindeer!
This Christmas for Autumn it was all about Hello Kitty.
For Brody, it was any and all things trains!
Brody always immediately goes to the chocolate.
A tradition I like to keep is Adam take the kids out to buy me presents. The kids are usually with me when I'm shopping for Adam, and I think it's important they see him buying gifts, and for them to learn to give as well. He took them to Target and helped Autumn pick out gifts for me. She bought me some awesome makeup and nail polish and was so proud when I opened it on Christmas morning!
As soon as Brody opened his new train tracks, it was time to play!
So two years ago, I bought Autumn a Polly Pocket Roller Coaster toy. I hated it. It had water at the end of the roller coaster, so it was always making a mess. It never stayed together right and seemed to get both her and I frustrated. Eventually, I just threw it away. She didn't realize this for months. When she did however, it was ALL. SHE. COULD. TALK. ABOUT. She really, really wanted it back, and wouldn't you know, the dumb toy I got for $20 was now discontinued and selling for over $100 on eBay. No thank you.
To appease her, I ended up finding this super cute playset that was a ski lodge. It had little people to ski and it even have an ice skating rink. It had a hill for the people and I thought, perfect! This is her new, BETTER roller coaster I could sell on Christmas morning.
However, she hardly ever plays with it. And still, she tells me all the time how much she misses her roller coaster toy...
After we finished Christmas morning at our house and had breakfast, it was time to head over to Nana and Grandpa's to open presents with them, Jodi and the boys. It's so much fun having two Christmases!
After Brody received another train track, he pretty much checked out of opening presents.
It was a great Christmas. I can't wait until next year. Having little kids makes all the hassle worth it, and I love seeing things through their eyes!