Building up to Christmas 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

We have a long list of holiday traditions building up to the big day that make for a very exciting December for our family.  Gearing up on the Christmas excitement was even more fun this year since Grey has some idea of these general ideas about the holiday:
a) "Dinta" (Santa) is a person who is exciting and everyone asks what he is 'going to bring you.'  He is awfully creepy up close though.
b) It is baby Jesus's birthday
c) there are A.lot.of.cookies.e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.
d) if you hit the Christmas tree with a hockey stick or ball, you should say, "Sorry, Tree"
e) there is a pickle ornament hiding on our tree that you should point out to every person that comes to our house
f) Baby Jesus and Dinta Songs are lullabies (Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Up on the rooftop, Better Watch Out)
g) When you see Christmas lights on someone's house you should say, "ooooh, wow.  pretty.....more?"

In our journey leading up to the holiday and my son's understanding of the aforementioned truths, we did quite a big of holly jolly'ing through the month.  First, we met Abba at our Church hall to have breakfast with Santa.

And we got to meet some Church friends

And then waited (and waited and waited) for Santa to arrive

Which was REALLY exciting...

Until we got up close and then it was terrifying (even though we got a giant stuffed teddy bear - thanks Church!)

We also continued putting up our Christmas tree ornament advent calendar each day.  Grey has the drill down  pat now.  I say, "Are you ready for the ornament for today?" and he says, "Ess, sit down," and goes to wait in the middle of the living room.  He inexplicably wants to hang every single ornament "up high!" when I ask where he wants to put it on the tree.

We wrote our wishlist for Santa where I asked Greyson what he wanted Santa to bring him.  The conversation literally went like this:
Mum:  "Grey, we're going to make a letter for Santa so he knows what you want for Christmas.  What would you like him to bring you for a surprise?"
Grey:  "football?"
Mum:  "Okay, football, that's nice.  Anything else?"
Grey:  "foooooootttttbbbbaaalllllllllll; touchdownnnnnnnn"
Mum:  "oookay, more footballs.  great.  Do you want Santa to bring you anything different than footballs, honey?"
Grey:  "donut?"

..and so Santa has it pretty easy over here for making all of Grey's wishes come true this holiday.

Then it was on to our annual Gram Helen's Sugar Cookie & Boiled Icing marathon day with my sisters and cousins the Hagerich girls.  Ever since we were little girls we would spend just about a whole day at my grandma's house eating preparing cookie dough, cutting out cookies and eating the raw dough, baking the cookies, eating icing by the spoonful, and then icing and decorating the cookies.  Between Gram and the six girls there, we would have mountains of sugar cookies ready for Christmas by the end of the day.  Since my Gram passed away in 2006, we have been trying to keep that cookie baking day alive by holding it at whoever's house is up for a flour explosion.  We are all still trying desperately to perfect Gram's boiled icing and with each year we're getting a little closer to doing it (hopefully).

At least Grey seems to like it a whole bunch

 This year's cookie baking day was held at our house and Grey was able to get it on the festivities.  We dyed his dough green as an indicator later to because they had bits of all sorts of nasty toddler crap in them (including but not limited to:  dog lick, boogies, spit, sneeze, and have probably been pre-licked).

Bullet waited around under the table, patiently waiting for anyone to drop anything

Grey picked up on some pretty impressive techniques during the day and we tried (unsuccessfully so far) to teach him Gram's jingle for using cookie cutters properly.  It is really elaborate and goes like this:  push it down and wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.

We spent the afternoon covered in flour while gossiping, laughing, and catching up with each other.  I know Gram could hear us giggling and was proud to know her girls are still sneaking big chunks of raw cookie dough in their mouths even though we're grown ups.  we miss you everyday, still.

Speaking of flour.

Clean up wasn't too bad, considering we have a built-in, living vacuum cleaner

And a little gremlin who crawls all over the floor and mops it with his belly

It also wouldn't be the holiday season without attempting to take your toddler on a full day shopping excursion

To finish off our holiday build-up, we started a new tradition with the Fiores that included a train ride with Grey and Phia (that was so cute I could have just screamed on the top of my lungs).

Followed by hot chocolate (big hit) and a viewing of The Polar Express at Phia's house.  The kids watched a total of 3 minutes of the movie before spending the rest of the time playing together and occasionally fighting over who got to sit in what chair.  They were both old enough to independently play together so that Katie and I got to sit on the couch and fake watch the movie while trying to stay awake and catch up.

With so many fun holiday traditions behind us already, we are heading into the serious traditions now.  From Christmas Eve to the 26th, we've got loads of family, great food, more cookies (!), and memories to make.  We'll be back after then for a full update.  In the meantime,

happy holidays to you and your family.
thank you for stopping by to read my blog and keep up with our funny little life.

i hope this holiday, you receive at least one of these best gifts of all:

  • your family sitting in church with shaking shoulders because you're all trying to not laugh at something that totally wouldn't be funny except you know you're not supposed to be laughing
  • that first bite of a warm dinner roll
  • kissing under the mistletoe
  • someone waking you up at 6am on Christmas morning
  • watching your grandma or grandpa laugh
  • watching a child's face when they see the tree
  • guilt-free dessert eating

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