Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Weekend Before Christmas

T'was the weekend before Christmas and all through the house, all the creatures were stirring...when we were home at least. It wasn't a very restful weekend, but we had an excellent first family Christmas of the season.

We had planned on going to Santa at the Zoo (just mom and minis as Hubs was working the day away), but cold temps and snow deterred me from venturing out with the minis, especially since we had a small time frame to complete Santa visit and get home for family Christmas prep. Let me just say that everything happens for a reason. The weather kept us home and thankfully we were home or I wouldn't have gotten anything completed for family Christmas! I spent all morning and all afternoon baking, making soup, cleaning from the baking adventures (I somehow managed to crack an incredibly durable bowl, pictured below), and wrapping presents.

The minis didn't seem to mind spending some time at home. They played board games, danced to Christmas music, and happily sampled the sweets.

Group hug

As usual, when the adults finished Christmas dinner, we sat around chatting, while the kids ran off to play. After a while I realized I had accumulated a lot of plates as the youngest mini was "serving" me.

Some (but not all) of the cousins at Christmas.

Gift opening happened in age order: oldest to youngest. Elizabeth was the last to go. We noticed her slowly opening her gift as other's were opening! She just couldn't wait!

Elizabeth didn't want to leave her playing spot in the bed to take a family picture, so we took one without her. One of the boys commented that we look pretty good with just four of us in the picture!

We all crashed Saturday night, later than planned of course. Sunday was crazy as well. We ventured out into the freezing cold (literally, 30 below zero. It shouldn't even be allowed) for a Christmas party and more Christmas shopping. I've had the minis Christmas presents bought since October, but we saved extended family for last minute. We had to go multiple places for gift cards and random items. We practiced good parenting and bribed our kids: "if you're good and hang in with us through it all, we'll take you to see Santa at the mall again." The bribe worked!

We also rewarded them with Hurts Donuts. None of us could decide which one we wanted so we all ate a bite of each donut, just to taste them all. They were VERY good!

The minis ended their weekend with a Christmas movie, while I ended mine with Starbucks and books. #heaven

I feel like Christmas has really snuck up on us this year. I'm happy this will be the last time until next Christmas that we'll be present shopping like this. We decided for the minis birthday's (in June, in exactly 6 months) to gift them a vacation and passes to local places. As much as I used to love shopping and finding a good deal, I don't have much fun with it anymore. Despite that, I'm looking forward to the rest of our Christmases and seeing everyone's reactions to what they got.