Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Traditions

Christmas is such a magical, wonderful time.  Especially now that we have two little toddlers in our house!  Every year the holidays get better and better and I love having small traditions to carry on year after year.  Here are a few of my favorite traditions:

Elf on the Shelf:
I've already introduced you to Eekey Locky Luke (aka ELL).  It was so fun having him this year!  Every morning when Redmond would wake up the first thing he would do is look for him.  He brought gifts a few times, and spent time in every room (well, except the basement).  It's only going to get more fun with him as years go on!
Santa Train:
This is an event put on by our city and local library.  It's a free train ride and visit with Santa.  They really improved it since last year; we rode on the train a lot longer and then Santa was waiting for us inside back at the train station.  Of course as soon as Redmond got a glimpse of Santa he started crying so no picture with him this year.  Maybe next year....maybe ;)
Christmas Cookies:
This year, ELL left the kids and I coordinating aprons to wear while we made cookies.  Redmond was SO excited!  Aren't these the cutest!?
We had our friends over to help decorate some sugar cookies which was a lot of fun.  A two and three year old with an unlimited supply of sprinkles was quite entertaining!  Later on, Redmond and I made Spritz cookies too.  I've been making those cookies at Christmas for as long as I can remember.  It's not Christmas without them!

Christmas Eve:
We woke up to find a sweet goodbye note from ELL along with a Christmas DVD and a new ornament for each of the kids.  
It seems as though ELL likes to wait for the last minute because he was back after naps with matching Christmas PJs for the kids (thank you Amazon Prime!!)
For dinner, I made our traditional Beef and Portabella Wellingtons.  SO delicious!

Quite possibly my favorite tradition we started with the kids is having them pick 10 of their toys they don't play with or want anymore.  We put those toys under the tree on Christmas Eve.  Then, when Santa brings them new toys, he takes their old toys and takes them to kids who are less fortunate.  (I took them to the local Women & Children's shelter).  

Before bed, Redmond left cookies and milk for Santa and a few carrots for his reindeer.  We had to cut him off - he wanted to pile the plate up!

Once the kids are tucked in bed and fast asleep, Jason and I grab some wine, tape and scissors and head downstairs to get to work!  

Not really sure where to fit this in, but it's a funny story from Christmas Eve night.  Lately, Redmond will wake in the middle of the night.  We normally just get him back in his bed, but we figured that, when he showed up in our room at 3:40am Christmas morning, he could just cuddle up and sleep with us.  He snuggled up next to me and fell right asleep.  About 15 minutes later, I feel something wet and warm on my arm.  Yep, that's right he peed on me, in our bed, in his new, matching Christmas pajamas!  R has not wet the bed since he's been potty trained!!!  All we could do was laugh.  Especially Jason since I was the one who got peed on, not him.  Thankfully, I was able to wash, dry and get his pjs back on him not long after he woke up. :)

Christmas Day:
This is the second year in a row that we were up before Redmond.  Thankfully, we didn't have to wait too long (unlike last year where we eventually had to wake him up!).  When he did wake up, he came flying down the hallway.  It was awesome!!  Never seen the kid run so fast!  He went right for his train table.

I feel like we did really well with gifts this year.  It's so easy to go overboard and we didn't.  The kids each got one bigger gift, Santa left one gift and filled their stockings and then they each got a handful of smaller gifts from us.  It was perfect.

After opening gifts, Redmond and I made pancakes and Jason and popped open some champagne for mimosas.  After breakfast, Ashlyn napped, Redmond played and we got ready to head over to Jason's parents.  

We spent the rest of the day there.  We opened gifts and waited for a few other family members to arrive.  It's always a nice, relaxing way to spend Christmas with lots of good food and laughs.
As much fun as it is, I'm glad Christmas has come and gone.  Now it's time to focus on getting rid of the extra poundage I've packed on and then some!  Both of Jason's brothers are getting married this spring (3 weeks apart.....on two different sides of the country....oy) so I've got motivation!

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