Is Christmas your busiest time of year? I'm always very ambitious about what we'll accomplish as a family around Christmas. There are traditions to forge, charitable giving to volunteer, teaching and learning to accomplish! There must be caroling, toy drives, deep discussions and scripture reading, visits to Santa, ice skating, cookie making, sledding, tree decorating, porch festooning, advent calendaring, quality family time enjoying MARVELOUSNESS! Go, go, go!!!
And of course, December rolls around and I realized how many gifts I have yet to make, how many concerts, parties, programs, etc, to attend and obviously, there's still work and school. So many things fall by the wayside. Inevitably, once the hubbub is over, the presents ripped into, the food consumed and the games played I feel as deflated as a week old helium balloon. I suffer from what we term around here "PPD" - Post Party Depression.
I came to what seemed as if it should have been VERY OBVIOUS realization this Christmastime. I let myself down. I procrastinate, and fill my plate to heaping messes of overflowing. And then I can't seem to understand why I don't feel "Christmasy."
Well, not anymore. I've vowed that next year will be different. I'll be spending the majority of the holiday season making memories, not gifts. Not plans.
Christmas morning started with a note from Santa, read by bug (who is excited to be reading on his own now, thank you very much).
I managed to do one handmade gift for each kid this year. mini was pretty excited by her dr. kit (to be shown at a later date):
And bug got a Spy kit (also shown at a later date) which Santa must have known about, since he gave bug these awesome spy glasses.
We had games, food and fun at my brother and sister IL's house with my whole family. We do a family game exchange where everyone buys a game and wraps it up without labeling it in any way; we draw numbers and pick the packages numerically. Then each family has a new game and we get to try them all out on Christmas! There was an epic Jenga Tetris battle that came down to my sister and me... but my old lady dexterity caused my ultimate demise.
bug was an adorable shepherd for the live nativity the Primary put on at our church. It's pretty hard to tell, but he's not the only actor in the family - pip got to be baby Jesus!
After all of that fun and craziness, we packed in a hurry and set off for Utah to visit mr's family. pip was a trouper on his first plane ride. Very little tears and quite a bit more sleeping than is normal for him.
mr's sister had a baby girl just a few weeks after pip was born. It's fun because her older daughter is just a few months older than mini, too.
Thanks to grandparents for watching kids at random times and mr's siblings, we had a ton of fun things planned (both for the kids and us too! mr and I got to go see Catching Fire! Yea!)
There was mini bowling. Which is cool, since bug loves bowling.
He's such a pro.
While we were in Utah, we decided to take a "quick jaunt" (hahaha!) up to Idaho to visit some of mr's extended family. We haven't seen them in... well, I honestly don't know, but for most of them it's been years and years.
So there was family seeing:
Aunts, uncles, cousins,
First cousins (once removed),
and it was particularly fun for mr to introduce pip to his grandparents. How fun that our kids know their great-grandparents - even if from a distance most of the time.
and friend seeing! Great, wonderful friends we never see often enough. Such as this girl who was my best friend in the world back here in Wisco who now lives in Idaho. Hadn't seen her for about 9 years.
And we all agreed what a shame that was.
There was also a bit of appreciating the beauty.
I admitted I loved the view. Though when I lived in Utah it made me claustrophobic.
There was a lot of jumping. Literally. We visited this fun new (to us) place with trampolines everywhere! The kids were in heaven!
And bug once again shocked me with his fearlessness.
mr attempted to kill himself.
Or at least cause himself serious harm. Thankfully he failed at both.
mr was the first to try the little jump on the hill:
When we returned, he was happy as a clam to be worn around the hill. Notice I have no coat. We were astonished by how warm it was. Back in Wisco, my family was experiencing an arctic freeze, the likes of which we hadn't experienced for years with record breaking lows. So THIS:
But just about broke his neck the second time around. Thank goodness there was a passing puppy to lift his spirits. Until said puppy made off with his mitten...
mini is usually far too cold to enjoy sledding. She tries to have fun, but is generally finished with the whole idea too soon for me and bug - and only the promise of hot cocoa will keep her on the hill.
Of course, once we got home, we learned our bags were lost. So we didn't have to worry about getting them into the car, anyway.
Happy hectic holidays!