First of all…this is a huge post. HUGE. Next year, I will split Christmas activities up into categories! Ha!
It seems like the whole year we look forward to the holidays…Like they will NEVER GET HERE. And, then…it’s over. In a flash. Gone. Done. We had an amazing Christmas this year. While it was still busy, it was much less hectic than last year. We closed on our house December 15th 2014 and then tackled some home projects right off the bat. We stayed in an apartment downtown for a week or so leading up to the closing date and then a hotel the week of Christmas, since we couldn’t access our bedrooms upstairs while the wood floors were being done. Lots of sawdust, unpacked boxes, and sleepless nights. Add on a 3 1/2 month old baby and a 2 year old, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster. Oh. My. We still managed to do some Christmas-y things like seeing Santa and decorating a gingerbread house, but it just wasn’t the same. No gift wrapping, no party hosting…that December flew by in a flash, and it just didn’t feel warm and fuzzy like Christmas usually does.
This year, we were definitely ready to savor the season. Decorating for Christmas may be one of the best things on earth. So much excitement for what lies ahead in December. I can’t wait until the kids are a little older and can really help with the decorating.
We put up two trees again this year: one faux & one real tree that we picked out at the Owasso Christmas Tree Farm. It is such a fun spot to get a real tree! I love that they have the front section where you can choose different types that have been shipped in from all over the place, but they also have the option of going out and choosing one to cut down. We usually choose one out on the farm, but it had rained for several days and the grounds were a muddy mess. We didn’t feel like braving the drizzle and mud with the littles, so we picked one out up front. Also, one of the best parts of the tree farm is the hot apple cider inside the store. We love to grab a hot cup of cider and look at all the pretty ornaments and decor. Elisa definitely loves it…Everett just wants to break everything. Maybe next year he will have an appreciation for it. 😉
One of our little Christmas tree shopping traditions is stopping at the Cracker Barrel in Owasso to eat. Comfort food always sounds so good after being out in the cold. Give me all the biscuits in the world in the cold winter months. It’s no wonder everyone is a little heftier in the winter! It is such a good place to take kids, too. We don’t ever think to go there, but we should go more often. They love looking at all the toys and choosing treats from the old fashioned candy! Ahhh, who am I kidding? We love it, too!
Since this was our first year to decorate this house for Christmas, we really did enjoy it! As I write this, I am a little sad that all the decor is put away. The house just seems so bare without it. 😦 Can’t it just be Christmas all year??! But then, I suppose, it might start to lose some of its magic. Kind of like living in a tropical climate; the beach wouldn’t feel like a vacation spot anymore.
We had the good fortune of spending time with family throughout the month. To start things right, we had a little Christmas kick-off party with Dan, Maggie, Bill, Jordan, and Katie. It was a great afternoon of yummy eats, patio time by the chimenea, and good conversation!
We were blessed to have Ann visit us from Texas. It was a wild weather week with blizzards, tornadoes, and record-breaking rainfall which produced record flooding. Glad she made it up!
We started off with cocktails – brandy, cherries with orange zest, Grand Marnier, champagne, and sugared orange slices. So GOOD. We had roasted garlic & fresh herb pork loin, oven-roasted asparagus, and mashed red potatoes with cream cheese & TONS OF BUTTER. Katie made some super yummy chocolate cookies, and I made a dark chocolate mousse topped with the homemade caramel my friend & coworker Molly B. made for me! Josh made Topeca french press, and we mixed in a little Baileys. Chocolate and coffee were made for each other.
Such a great night!
On Christmas Eve, we woke up with the kids and opened presents. MuMu and Papa Gary sent the kids gifts to open. Jammies, clothes, and the cutest red wagon EVER. We also got the littles a few things to open as well! We made orange rolls and had coffee by the fire. Although, it was unseasonably warm that morning! The kids were begging to ride in the wagon, so we took a stroll through the neighborhood. It did not feel like December outside!
We decided to do the 4 gifts method this year for the kids…they each got something to wear, something to read, something they want, something they need. Elisa loves her little Ariel baby doll. The wagon was a huge hit, too. I can’t wait until warm weather, so we can take them out in it! Everett loves anything with wheels, so he was in heaven! Sounds a lot like his daddy. 😉
After our walk with the wagon, we packed up the rest of our things and headed for Christmas at Nana & Papa’s house! As always, they are such gracious hosts. So much wonderful food, coffee, sweet treats, and a huge plot of land for the kids to play! It is so good for them to get outside and run. It is definitely one thing city-living lacks.
When Elisa was a baby, we began reading her the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. Everyone passes the book around and takes turns reading pages. Elisa enjoys it! Everett couldn’t sit still long enough to even acknowledge what was happening. Maybe he will like it next year…
Christmas morning, the kids woke up to two special toys and stockings! Everett got a Thomas the Train and Elisa got a princess scooter complete with knee/arm pads and a helmet. Oh, and pink princess water bottle that goes with it. She is obsessed with that water bottle! HA!
It was a great morning of just lounging around, drinking coffee, eating monkey bread, and opening gifts. Before we knew it, lunch time was upon us! The day went by so quickly!
After we opened gifts, Elisa was begging to go swing outside with Papa. The weather was beautiful on Christmas Day. Hank made a fire outside on the patio. Josh helped Jace put on the new bumper for his truck. I made cocktails, Terri set out a great cheese platter and snacks, and we all just relaxed and enjoyed the day. Jim and Lee were able to make it up from Texas and came over with Greg. Another great afternoon.
We also had a Christmas get-together at Dan’s house with Bill and Cathy. We had a casual night of pizza, presents, wine, coffee, and even a little guitar playing.
I am sad that I didn’t take more pictures! Too busy talking and chasing Everett I suppose! 😉
We definitely had a packed December, but I feel like we did have some lazy days intermixed. Lots of fires, coffee in the cute mug Terri gave me, Christmas lights, gift wrapping, cookie making, gingerbread decorating, movie watching, and a lot of Christmas tunes. One of the many benefits of working at the Little Light House is that I have a TON of time off in December. I needed it desperately. So, so thankful for it.
We got to have a little date night thanks to Dan keeping watch while the babes slept…Of course, we ended up at Hodges Bend. It never disappoints. We also stopped to see some lights near our house.
Philbrook had a free night, so we took the kids along with Nana and Papa to see the Christmas lights. We have been there so many times, but we have never seen it at Christmas time. It was beautiful. Everett was a HOT MESS and running around like a lunatic & Elisa was not in a picture-taking mood…but we got a picture…and don’t we all look happy??! Ha!
We also took the kids to Guthrie Green one night to see the lights and grab a sweet treat from Antoinette’s new downtown location.
Sissy and Ella also came up a couple times during the holiday break. We cooked good food, made fun drinks, opened presents, and just enjoyed our time off work and school. One night, all of us girls went to Starbucks and then to see the lights at Rhema.
Wow. Well, it was definitely a whirlwind Christmas season. I’m so sad to see it go, but I am so excited for what it will be like in years to come as the kids get older and gain more cousins!
Until next year!