Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Favorite Day Of The Year

Thanksgiving week is my favorite week of the year and it ends with my favorite day of the entire year: the day after Thanksgiving. It's not because of the amazing shopping deals the retail world throws our way. It's because of the holiday traditions that I'm passing down to my kids and traditions that we're creating.

Our day after Thanksgiving goes something like this: Hubs goes to work while the minis and I leisurely wake up and play Christmas music while making Christmas pancakes. Pick up the house and begin to get Christmas decorations out. Go through Christmas decorations, get excited about the Christmas toys and books that haven't been played with in almost a year. Make Christmas pasta for lunch (along with any leftovers from Thanksgiving). Bake gingerbread cookies and decorate. Watch Christmas movies and take naps. Make chili or soup for dinner. Showers are totally optional. After Hubs gets home from work, we eat dinner and go to Jolly Holiday Lights (http://iowa.wish.org/news-and-events/calendar-of-events/november/event-detail-page).

To most people this seems like a nothing special kind of day, but it's a day I look forward to all year long. For one, the day after Thanksgiving has been a Christmas decorating day since I was a kid. I remember staying in our jammies all day long, playing Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, and decorating the house and tree. Granted, I never appreciated this tradition until I had kids of my own. Now I've fully embraced this day and I've happily brought the lazy decorating day to our home.

This year, the day after Thanksgiving looked like this for us:

 In past years we've used cookie cutters and cut shapes out of our green and red pancakes. This year we made green and red pancake muffins. These are sooo easy, especially when I had three mini helpers who wanted to mix, stir, and pour. I also don't have to worry about anyone burning their fingers on the stove.
 Harrison and Elizabeth spent an hour going through all of our ornaments. Last year we started the tradition of getting a real Christmas tree, but we won't get it for a couple of more weeks. Harrison and Elizabeth really wanted to decorate a tree with all of the ornaments they found. So they decorated the Wheelies ramp instead. We'll be adding even more ornaments to our collection because we're making our own ornaments for this year's Christmas tree!

I pack away all holiday books and bring them out for each season. We've got A LOT of Christmas books reading to do! The kids loved looking through the books and reading them. They even got a surprised when I gave them a couple of new Christmas books to add to the stack.
Lunch was red and green colored whole grain pasta, green beans, and applesauce dyed red.
 Last year was our first year of baking and decorating a giant gingerbread man. It's definitely a highlight of our day! This year the kids did it all themselves: the baking (I took the cookie in and out of the oven), the frosting, and putting the candy on. They also did a pretty good job of eating the candy too.



 Our gingerbread man covered in vanilla frosting, mini M & M's, Dots, and Sixlets.
This year we had to skip out on Jolly Holiday Lights at the end of the night because of the lack of naps from the minis. No worries though because I got my nap in!

This is a season rich in traditions for many families. What are some of your holiday traditions? Do you do anything special with decorating for the holidays?

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