We had a magical Christmas. We did lots of fun things to prepare all season long. We drew pictures, decorated our house, baked a ton of yummy treats, and celebrated Advent.
My girls were super into stringing cranberries. I was delightfully surprised at my oldest girl who really wanted to do it and proved herself capable. Her little sister enjoyed helping her, she mad a great assistant.
It was a lot of hard work. She just barley turned 4 but I can see such a difference in her when compared to her older brother. She is much more steadfast at using her hands. She has a more patient attitude and seems to have the will to stick with things like this for much longer. I am starting to understand the common saying that girls mature faster than boys. My big boy is still very much absorbed by play and doing what he wants. He was not at all interested in stringing the cranberries with us. That was fine though as he was willing to occupy his hands by drawing Christmas pictures.
We had so much snow this year at Christmas. It was a Christmas miracle. I think that it really helped it feel so magical. It started snowing about 3 weeks before the Holiday and it just kept right on snowing. We ended up with about 2 feet out there. That was the most I have seen since we moved here.
Of course we had to go out and make a snowman. We used coal from our fireplace (because we had so much of it from the power outage). I finally understood why all the old fashioned songs and stories of snowmen spoke of using coal. It sticks right on the snow and stays there. It was quite amazing really, and it made perfect sense as the coal is dry and porous. We even dressed him in a real scarf and gave him a carrot for a nose.
The snow was super wet. But it was still so much fun.
We always have to get up so early for opening gifts. I think it was about 6:30 AM or so. I always love how monstrous the gift pile looks.
And let the crazy mess begin. We start getting phone calls around 10 AM and we always have to say, "Let us call you back, we haven't opened it yet." It takes us 4 hours to get through all the gifts. It works best if we let the kids go slow and digest a little.
But by the end even I felt like this one did. Tired. Seriously though, we had a great time and received some great gifts.
This was my nativity table. We did Advent here as well but I forgot to get any pictures of it. I liked how I could write the verses on the chalkboard wall and draw a picture to go with it. It really helped me feel like my decorations were balanced. Normally they are lopsided, all on the other side of the room as the tree is over there and the fireplace too. It always drove me a little nuts but with this new set up I felt so much better. I am weird like that.
It was so cold and the ice grew long out of our gutters. I was worried about the roof.
And, our tree, as always such a delight. I am always a little sad to take it down at the end of the season. Every year I try to make it to Three Kings Day, the 6th of January. Did you know that the 12 days of Christmas are from the 25-January 6th? I have never made it that long because when the New Year rolls I get a serious craving for a fresh start and a clean house. Every year I get impulsive and take it down on New Year's Day, it just feels like the right thing to do. This year our tree was super dry. It was the driest tree we have ever had. It must have had something to do with the drought in our state. I had no choice but to take it down within a week after Christmas.
That's OK, though as we replaced our Christmas decorations with some nice winter window stars. We hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!