Thursday, January 5, 2017

Christmas 2016 Recap

In our house, it's not Christmas season until our Elf on the Shelf (Eekey Locky Luke) shows up.  It's always after Thanksgiving, and he always shows up once we put our 'Christmas Counter-Downer' (technical term, ya know) up on display.

Once Eekey Locky Luke has made his appearance, Christmas is near!

ELL was fairly tame this year.  Although, he did switch out the kids stockings for their underwear once...

Redmond's school had a fun event where the kids could write letters to Santa, while drinking milk and eating cookies of course, then drop the letters in a special mailbox.  Afterwards, Santa was waiting for the kids upstairs.  The line to see Santa was L-O-N-G so we decided to skip that part.  We were planning on seeing Santa that weekend when we went Christmas tree hunting anyways.


One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to head to a local tree farm to find and cut down our perfect Christmas tree.  This year, we ended up going on a day where we were having quite the snowstorm.  Our plan to skip Santa at Redmond's school to see him at the tree farm totally backfired - the snow kept Santa away :(  But, just take a look at these faces - we still had a great time!

Time was running out and we had to get the kids to see Santa.  This was the first year that they have been really excited to see him.  Thankfully, there was a little grocery store in a neighboring town that was hosting Santa one Saturday afternoon.  Completely cheesy location?  Absolutely.  But, the kids got to see Santa and were so excited.  That's all that matters, right!?


The kids and I spent the first 4 days of their Christmas break purging, organizing, and cleaning their playroom.  We got rid of so.much.stuff. 

I didn't take many pictures over break, but there was a lot of board games, some crafts, and lots and lots of brother/sister fighting bonding going on :)

We did our annual day of baking.  I had these aprons made for the kids (I have a matching one too) 3 years ago.  Look at how much they've grown since they first wore them!


We made Choo Choo Cherry Chip (named by Redmond) Cookies, White Chocolate Orange Slices, and, my favorite, Spritz cookies.

Christmas Eve came quickly and Eekey Locky Luke was hiding in Jason's office with new pajamas for the kids.

He also had left an apology letter.  Two nights prior, he had forgotten to put chocolate in their Christmas Counter Downer.  Turns out, he had a really good reason for his lack of candy!

#gogreen #gowhite

Christmas Eve is usually spent at home with just the four of us.  Jason grilled ribeye steaks, I made fresh bread, an amazing, gluttonous cheesy potato casserole, and sautéed Brussels sprouts.  For dessert, we had a pie we had bought for a local fundraiser and vanilla ice cream the kids and I made earlier in the day.


A couple hours later, the kids changed into their new pajamas and posed in front of the Christmas tree.  Remember all that stuff we purged from the playroom?  Well, every Christmas, the kids have to pick out at least 10 toys that they don't play with anymore to donate.  They leave them under the tree, then Santa takes them to kids who aren't as fortunate to get as good of a Christmas that our two do.  They went above and beyond this year - 4 overflowing boxes!  So proud of these two!!

Once the kids were tucked in and asleep, Jason Santa got to work getting everything under the tree and I Mrs. Claus got busy on Christmas morning breakfast.

Christmas Morning.

Is there anything more enjoyable and magical than watching little kids on Christmas morning!?!?!?  The excitement, joy, pure happiness on their faces. 

Also, how funny is it that Jason and I got each other the same book!? 
(Bees will be making their appearance to our homestead soon!!! :)

After presents were opened, it was time for breakfast!  Overnight cinnamon rolls and mimosas are a Christmas morning tradition at the Hayes Homestead....I added in leftover cheesy potatoes fried in (MORE) butter this year!

After breakfast we got dressed and headed over to Jason's parents house for the rest of the day.  Very low-key and relaxing with just a handful of people.  A great way to spend the day!

The next day, Jason had the day off so we wasted no time getting all of the Christmas decorations down and put away.  The Christmas tree is serving it's second purpose and is in the chicken run for the chickens to perch on and play with.  Everything else is packed up and put away until next year!

The rest of the week was spent playing a lot of board games and refereeing Redmond and Ashlyn.  School could not start soon enough!

On New Year's Day the sun was shining and the temperature was near 40 so we hit the park!  The kids NEEDED it to burn some energy off and I needed it for my sanity!

Thankfully, school has since resumed and we are getting back into our "normal" routine.  I sure do love these two kidlets of mine, but I can't say I was sad to send their behinds back to school ;)

~ Sara :)

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