On a preliminary matter of much importance, I was so caught up in work and un-festive adult matters these past few weeks that it took me a record TWELVE DAYS to bust out my Michael Buble Christmas album. His is my all-time favorite and I first bought it when I was pregnant with Ryan and it always makes me warm and fuzzy. It does not feel like Christmas until Buble belts out holiday greetings through the speakers of my Honda Odyssey.
We love Christmas!
This year's tree!
But as soon as court was adjourned, a gigantic boulder was lifted from my shoulder and the world seemed so much brighter and beautiful. (seriously!). My client wanted to download over a cup of coffee. I wanted to find a spa, get a massage, and get lost in a bottle of wine. Instead, I came home to three rain-soaked and and hungry children, one poopy diaper, and lots of whinning.
That night we visited our neighbors two doors down and had a Christmas cookie decorating/game night. We played the kid's version of Apples to Apples. I didn't even know there WAS a kid's version! It was a huge hit. Even the two and three year olds got to play. They had a blast even though they had no clue what was happening.
Then we decorated cookies while we watched Elf and I discovered that my three year old is a cookie decorating aficionado. All the other kids had employed the "eat while you go" method. At the end of the movie, their plates were empty. Ryan, on the other hand, had a plate full of intricately decorated bells, and angels, and trees. And by "intricately" I mean, meticulously piled high with mountains of sprinkles and M&Ms.
On Saturday, we did some shopping and celebrating (my brother became an Eagle Scout!) and then today we drove down to my husband's aunt's house for lunch and a visit with Santa. Santa patiently answered all the children's questions about what happens on Christmas Eve right down to a very detailed explanation as to how the genetically engineered reindeer are scientifically designed to fly. Apparently "Christmas cheer" is the dumbed down explanation. All the parents gasped loudly when Santa looked over at the Elf on the Shelf and exclaimed that it was "just a toy." Great job, Santa! Luckily, the kids may have been too engulfed in Santa's presence to hear his blasphemous statement about elves.
Pictures with Santa
Jon could not fathom what was supposed to happen or why he was sitting on the lap of a strange man with odd fashion taste. I mean, NEVER trust a man whose eyebrow color doesn't match his hair.
And this was as close as Ryan would get to looking at Santa.
Jon had a blast playing with everyone else's baby toys. He found a basket and immediately proceeded to sit in it, fall over, and sit in it again.
You've heard of Jack In The Box? This is his knock-off little brother, Jon In The Basket.
The kids played with their second cousins for a bit and then we headed out to yet ANOTHER Christmas party for dinner. (Yay, free meals all day!).
I didn't get a chance to post last week, but last Sunday we went to a living Nativity. It was amazing! The whole church yard is decorated to look like Bethlehem and you wander through it on foot. No detail was overlooked. People walked around in Roman soldier outfits, shepherds, merchants, live animals, you name it. At each booth you learned a little about the lifestyle and history of Jesus' time. Jacob even got to make a candle wick and we sampled some food.
Ryan cried throughout the entire event. Apparently candles and sheep, and baby Jesus are all very terrifying. And I'm a horrible mother because I made him sit in the stroller while we strolled from booth to booth. Instead of comforting Ryan, I laughed out loud when he pointed at the sheep and exclaimed, "I don't like those horses mama!!!" If my son develops a deep-seated fear of all Nativities, I'm not sure how I'd ever be able to explain that.
At the end there was a live baby Jesus. I've never MET a live baby Jesus but I'm guessing the situation may not exactly be the most appropriate place to wear a Minecraft Creeper sweater.
Ryan yelled, "I don't like baby Jesus" and kept his eyes firmly closed.
And then we walked into the church hall for hot coa coa and Ryan was instantly the perkiest, happiest child of them all. Yep. No offense baby Jesus. It's not you. And I'll totally understand if he gets coal in his stocking.