I am taking a cue from my girl Brittany and wrapping up some of our favorite Christmas things in list style. It has been too long since I’ve posted anything and now catching up on all of our holiday activities seems overwhelming. So here goes…as concisely as I can possibly manage:
1. Gilmore Girls Revival Marathon
I lucked out that many of my close friends also adore my very favorite television show. So on the day after Thanksgiving we gathered for a feast of Pop Tarts, Ho Ho’s, Pizza and Chinese food. We spent all day watching the four new episodes. The only thing missing was my sister, Diana. I wished we could have been together to watch!
2. Lights on the house!
While I was gone all day watching Gilmore Girls, Alex was busy at home making our house sparkle and shine. I arrived home from a full day with friends to this beautiful sight!
3. Christmas in Davidson
One of our favorite annual traditions! We headed out early to have dinner with friends and then made our way through the Christmas celebrations hitting up the carousel, the live nativity and pictures with Santa. Ruthie is not a fan of the big man this year but Eleanor jumped right into his lap for a photo opportunity.
Side note: we teach our girls that Santa isn’t real but just a story book character that is fun to read about and watch movies about (just like a Disney princess). It is even fun to see people dressed up as Santa (also like princesses) but he doesn’t bring gifts and he doesn’t watch over boys and girls. I always knew we wouldn’t play Santa but sometimes I worry whether the girls are missing out. But watching Eleanor still get so excited reassures me that we are not stealing any fun out of Christmas by not playing along. I just wanted to add that here in case you too were on the fence with the Santa thing and worried about how to do it for your family and if it would steal the magic out of Christmas. It has been reassuring to watch Eleanor still get so excited and enjoy so much of Christmas this year!
4. Trimming the Tree
Probably the most stressful of all our holiday celebrations but I’m still glad we involved the girls this year. We headed to Lowe’s to pick out our tree and landed on an awesome deal. We paid just $30 for our 8 foot tree and brought it home and set it right up. It was perfectly straight on the first try and we began to string lights while the girls sipped hot cocoa and watched Charlie Brown Christmas. Then we let them help hang the ornaments. It was a little chaotic and a few were broken but our tree looks absolutely stunning this year! It is just a reminder of how blessed we are to be back in our home and so comfortable this Christmas season!
5. Foster Parent Christmas Party
This is our second year attending this annual party for all Iredell County foster parents. Alex and I were certified as foster parents after Eleanor was born (but before Ruthie) and we serve as respite for foster parents. We have never done full placements before but enjoy getting to do short-term care. The girls got to see Santa again at the party and Ruthie still wouldn’t sit on his lap. We had dinner and then a magic show and we all got to leave with a gift donated by local businesses.
6. Family Visits!
My sister and her two sons drove from Missouri for a long weekend visit. We relaxed and just enjoyed each other’s company, ate a whole lot of Chick Fil A and watched our kiddos play together. Such a sweet time with my amazing sister!
7. The Caroling Bears
While my sister was in town visiting we met some friends in Charlotte for the ‘famous’ caroling bears. The kids were into it and stood on the little fence watching the performance. It’s such a simple little Christmas activity and that’s exactly what I liked about it. They play every hour for 45 minutes so you can sort of come and go as you please without missing too much. This was particularly helpful with toddlers! We ate pizza together after the performance before heading back north in the worst traffic ever!
8. The Dixon’s Couples Christmas Party
Thank you Brittany and David for having a couples only party! I felt so grown up. Alex and I got dressed up, he even opened the car door for me, and we partied until the wee hours of 1am (who are we!?) The wine was going down easily, the shrimp cocktail was perfectly spicy and I couldn’t stay away from the cheese board. It was a great time and a much needed escape/date night for Alex and me!
9. Story time with Santa
This year our library hosted a story time with Santa (they also do Mrs. Clause each year). Santa started by leading the kids in a few songs and then reciting The Night Before Christmas. They had crafts to occupy the kids while others stood in line. The girls weren’t anxious to sit on Santa’s lap again so we just did our craft and headed home. Many of our friends were there too and I couldn’t get over how cute these girls all looked in their matching Eleanor Rose dresses!
10. Craft Night with the Girls
I was invited through some girls at BBC to attend a holiday craft night at a local business, Sweet Grass. I made this pallet wood tree. With the help of the employees I got the letters just right and a giant bow for the top. We had wine and snacks. I was nervous because I’m not particularly crafty but I had a ton of fun!
11. The Cookie Exchange
My annual event is now back in full swing with our move back into our house. I had about 12 girlfriends over who all brought about two dozen of their favorite Christmas cookies to exchange. We had wine and hot apple cider and I was inspired by Brittany to try my hand at a beautiful cheese tray of my own. It made me feel right back at home hosting my favorite party.
12. Alex’s Graduation Party
Alex officially graduated with his Master’s degree this past weekend and we threw a big party. We invited all of our friends to a local brewery/restaurant to celebrate Alex’s amazing accomplishment. His team at work also threw him a surprise party last week and invited me and the kids and my sister and her kids to attend as well. It has been amazing to watch Alex persevere through late nights and long hours to achieve this goal and getting to celebrate in this giant achievement with him! I am so incredibly proud of what he has done!
So now as we head into the last week before Christmas we are just planning to relax a little and prepare for another busy weekend. We still have several Christmas parties to attend and I am hosting Christmas dinner this year for Alex’s mom and stepdad. I also want to find some time for a couple fun activities with the girls like making ornaments and driving around to look at Christmas lights.
Have a Merry Christmas!