We had a wonderful Christmas this year – the kids got everything they wanted (but of course!), we enjoyed our time with family (The Herrman clan all got together a few weeks before in Charlotte and then again on the 23rd and with the Dewars, we enjoyed a leisurely Christmas afternoon), and we are always grateful for the real reason for the season.

This year only Connor had off school the weekly leading up to Christmas – which seemed odd. So Thursday afternoon we took our annual picture with Santa, Friday we crammed in all our cookie backing and Christmas Eve we were still doing some last minute Christmas shopping. We attempted to go to our traditional Moravion Love Feast in Raleigh this year – but even showing up 30 minutes early we were still too late – so instead we went to our Christmas Eve candle light service – it was nice – hot chocolate, fake snow, a train in the parking lot, really good sugar cookies, and child care (!!). It was a great way to bring in Christmas.

The kids put out their cookies and milk for Santa (although this Santa would have preferred a beer he says). I love that they still believe in Santa and the elf – although Cailee is getting susicious – she asked me this year if Santa was real – it would have been a good chance to come clean but I worry she’ll tell Connor, now I just need to make sure she doesn’t read the family blog :) She’s getting quite good at reading. It’s surprising how quickly she has learned and how well she is doing. Maybe I should get her to write the blog.

They were up pretty early Christmas morning – about 7:30ish – which I guess by others’ standards – its probably not so bad. We made them wait til about 8ish and it was just killing them. So every year I wrestle with – do I get the kids’ gifts early so I am sure to be able to get them or wait til the last minute because their lists are sure to change. I usually land somewhere in the middle – meaning – they get most of what they ask for but not always everything either because we’ve just exceeded any reasonable budget or I can’t find the item. Here was Cailee’s list: American Girl Doll clothes and furniture, an invisible ink book, karaoke machine, some gymnastics push up bars, a Num Nums lipstick truck and shopkins. Connor’s list: Disney Infinity game, Lego Dimensions game (all for PS4), game characters, a cement truck, a lego boat, and a drone. Yes, he wanted a drone. It ended up being a toy for JJ too I believe. They took it out Christmas afternoon, broke a few pieces (although thankfully, spare parts were cheap) but are getting better at it.

The week after Christmas we found something active to do every day the kids were out of school. A hike on Monday (see the next post), a movie on Tuesday (well not so active but entertaining nonetheelss), Defy Gravity (we actually did an hour at sky zone and an hour at defy gravity) on Wednesday, Ice Skating on Thursday (the kids’ new found passion), and Wheels (a birthday party) on Friday.

There was some small part of me that was ready to get back into the everyday routine just for the order of it as our vacation neared it’s end – but all in all I really enjoyed the time with the kids and hated for it to come to an end. It’s just one more year behind us and I can’t believe how quickly the time passes. Make it slow down (well, except for Mondays in January).

http://photos.amidewar.com/2016/December-25-2016/