Every year I have the best of intentions to post all about our holiday adventures. I make plans in my mind to create these perfectly worded entries about our holiday traditions and why they mean so much to us. I plan to share photos and stories of every small detail regarding our holiday season and then guess what happens? Life happens. Some years I have all the time in the world to share and some years, like this year, I don’t.
Right now Grace is screaming, (SCREAMING!!!) in the other room because we accidently woke her from her nap too soon while trying to take her jacket off. I’m recovering from my first day back at work following the Christmas break and G is attempting to intervene with our inconsolable toddler because everything I’ve tried didn’t work.
What better time to catch-up on some Christmas posts, right?
Here’s what has occupied our time these past couple of weeks. It’s been a crazy month for us here in New Mexico! Crazy but really fun. :)
As we do every year, we made a little family night out of decorating the Christmas tree. Last year we separated our ornaments putting the fragile/breakable ornaments aside for the top of the tree and filled a box full of ornaments that are “Gracie safe” for her to decorate with. We waited until she woke from her nap to get started and left the box of ornaments sitting under the tree just for her to decorate with. She was so excited! The controlling Scorpio in me wanted to dictate where she placed her childproof ornaments but I fought the urge. It’s a good thing I let her do what she wanted because those ornaments didn’t end up spending too much time on the tree anyway… Right now there are a few candy cane ornaments in our master bedroom, her Little Mermaid ornament needs to be repaired (she lost her mermaid tail in a traumatic toddler encounter) and I’m pretty sure we’re missing most of the remaining kid safe ornaments because the bottom of the tree is pretty bare, lol! I’ll worry about finding those this weekend when we pack everything up. Whatever I don’t find this weekend I’m sure I’ll come across over the summer. Ha!
A few favorites from our day of decorating. :)
G and I enjoyed a much needed date night earlier this month in Old Town, NM and it was glorious! My sis-in-law watched our kiddo for us while we did some Christmas shopping and strolled around one of the oldest parts of the city taking in the sights and sounds of Christmas. You forget how nice it is to be san-toddler when you’re so used to having your little one attached at the hip. There’s something to be said about just taking some time to stroll around, arm in arm.
For years we got together as a family to make and exchange cookies and then around 2011 we stopped because of busy conflicting schedules. We started the tradition back up again this year because the little ones were finally big enough to help! G and I hosted at our casa and the kids helped out (for about 30 minutes of the 3 hours that we baked). I mean, who wants to decorate cookies when all your friends are over and you have a playhouse in the backyard?!
I didn’t mind the little ones running off because it gave us mamas’ time to catch-up with each other and plan our holiday family stuff. We ended up making sugar cookies, peanut brittle, oatmeal cookies, fudge, double chocolate cookies and peppermint patties. Everything was YUM!
Well, almost everything. What’s a cookie baking party without a sacrificial burned batch. ;)
I signed-up to be the parent volunteer for Gracie’s holiday party at school and it was such a fun day. The kiddos had holiday themed reading circle and music hour and had an entire lesson on the history of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas. They also made adorable mini-luminarias and ornaments while enjoying the Santa strawberries Grace brought to share with her friends! I loved that the Bean’s school celebrated several holiday events and not just Christmas. It really showed me that there’s a reason the Co-op’s Mission Statement includes the word diversity. :)
Georgia picked out the perfect teacher gifts for Grace’s two main teachers and we gave all of Gracie’s school buds candy canes with Christmas cards. I told G as we were preparing everything the night before the holiday party, “can you believe we’re wrapping up our daughter’s gifts for her TEACHERS?” It made us feel like she was such a big girl!
As some of you know, the wifey and I work together. That’s actually how we met. This year our company surprised the staff by hosting a holiday office party at Dave & Buster’s. We got to act like a bunch of kids for a few hours playing games and opening gifts. It was good times all around. :)
And to save the best for last... This Christmas marked 20 years since my super awesome Mom started Operation Santa’s Child! She started this holiday philanthropy at a time when my family was struggling and we didn't have much. Even then, as a teacher, she knew that there were families in our community that didn't have anything at all and needed support and love during the holidays. Together with family and friends, my ma has made Christmas possible for 1,342 children in New Mexico and has impacted countless lives. I'm so grateful that Grace has all of these wonderful people to show her what Christmas is really about!
Watching this little one deliver gifts was the best part of my Christmas.
And that wraps it up! It was a fun filled month but I'm also exhausted and so glad it's January!