Our tree is, I think, the biggest one we've ever had! We had to do some rearranging to fit it into the living room. The girls had fun decorating it.
|Peabody likes multiple ornaments per branch|
|Pigtails! I love them!|
We decided that it would be Peabody's turn to put the penguin on top (this year his belly is filled with coffee beans and he smells delicious.) When Eric lifted her up the look of anticipation on her face turned to sheer terror and she started crying -- I think maybe she thought Eric was going to put her in the tree. So the Boogie put the penguin up. Maybe Peabody will be more willing next year.
The coffee beans made the penguin a little too heavy for the branch!
The hutch is the perfect place to decorate -- it's nice to spread things out around the room instead of bunching them all up on the bookshelf.
I've really enjoyed listening to holiday music this year. While I worked in the office we listened to a radio station, and their Christmas music selection was limited, redundant, and awful (if I never hear "Last Christmas" and "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and "The Christmas Shoes" again it will still be too soon.) It's been so nice to pick and choose what I like to listen to. The last couple of years we've added some Hanukkah music to the mix and Peabody gets very excited when she hears anything about a menorah; "A nora! A nora!" she shouts, jumping up and down. The Boogie sang the entire "Twelve Days of Christmas" to Eric one night, going up a note with each verse, counting backwards "eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, eight geese a laying," and finishing up with "a cartridge in a pear tree" each time.
Peabody has been getting into it too. She says Blissmas instead of Christmas. One day the Boogie pointed out that a character's name was Charlie, but it was pronounced Chahlie. "Chahlie?" Peabody exclaimed, then began to sing "Have a holly, Chahlie Blissmas!"
She sings, "We mish you a melly Blissmas, we mish you a melly Blissmas, and a happy new you!"
She climbs up on the piano bench and bangs on the keys singing, "Twinkle bells, twinkle bells, twinkle all a way!"
We had a ladies' meeting at church one night, and I wanted to plan a craft for us to do so I turned to the reliable Google (I'm not creative on my own and must find others' good ideas to copy.) Google failed me, though -- while I found lots of cool ideas they were not what I was looking for. I noticed that a friend had posted a new entry on her blog so I decided to take a break from my frustrating search to read it ... and she wrote about the ladies' meeting at her church, and the craft they made! It was perfect timing. Thank You, Lord. So we made sock snowmen and had a wonderful time. A couple of days later the Boogie and I made one for her to give to one of her friends and I think it turned out pretty cute ... though I have to confess that I pretty much just copied what the other ladies did. It wouldn't have turned out nearly as cute if we had made it before the ladies' meeting.
We had our annual family party with MIL's side which was fun, as always! The Delaware clan came to our side of the river which I so appreciate -- not that I mind driving over there, and they have lovely homes to host in, but it's easier on the little ones.
Eric and I were par of the choir for the Christmas program. We sang four songs and in between each song were some Christmas memories recorded by church members. That was SIL Joy's idea and it turned out really nicely! She did some interviews with kids, too. My favorite was DR who, when asked what his favorite part about Christmas is, replied excitedly, "I know! Presents! AND ... presents for ME." Four-year-old honesty at its finest. Peabody and the Boogie were interviewed; I can't remember what Peabody said, but the Boogie's response was phrased like a question, as if she was thinking, am I giving the right answer here?
On Christmas Eve we got up early and made the turkey for the next day -- it was the first time I roasted a turkey without a roasting bag, so we cooked it breast-side-down for a while, then flipped it over. I basted it regularly and I must say, I think it was one of the best we've made. That afternoon we headed to 52 for an afternoon of eating eating eating, and exchanging gifts. This year we sisters-in-law decided to have the cousins do a name exchange instead of all of us buying gifts for every child. I thought it worked out well. It was the year of Nerf guns -- many cousins got one, including our girls. For a while the dads took over the guns and it was mayhem! After dinner we went to church for our Christmas Eve service.
Christmas morning we followed tradition and went out for breakfast at a local diner. Peabody did very well with seeing gifts under the tree but not being allowed to rip into them all right away, especially since we let her open her new winter boots before we left. She immediately put them on and kept them on ALL day. After breakfast we went back home and opened all of our gifts to each other, and the ones from my family. My mom sent the girls some more adorable little dolls that she made, and Eric and I received pounds and pounds of our favorite coffee from our favorite coffee roaster! I'd given Eric a list of clothes I needed/wanted and he really came through. This year he asked for a safety razor so I gave him a nice one along with all the accessories.
The girls got lots of lovely fun toys, books, and puzzles but the Boogie's favorite gift is a neat story; not so much the item but rather how we acquired it. Weeks before Christmas we got a toy catalog from Target and I gave it to the girls. They pored over it and the Boogie was quick to make her requests. What she wanted most of all was Baby Butterscotch, an interactive toy pony. There was no way we could afford to get it for her, and honestly even if we could have I don't know that we would have. We were, of course, very noncommittal about it but she kept talking and talking and talking about how much she wanted it. After a bit I began to think that I needed to come up with a way to break to her gently that she was not going to get it. Then one day I got a text from someone asking if we were planning to get the pony for the Boogie, because she could get it for us for suuuuuper cheap. Without going into too much detail, this woman is an avid bargain hunter and knew that the Boogie really wanted Butterscotch, and she worked out an amazing deal to get us the pony at an amazing price (all legitimate! Nothing illegal!) Well, of course we couldn't pass that up. We saved it for last, tucked away behind the tree. When all the gifts but that one were opened I asked the Boogie how she liked her gifts, and if she got everything she wanted. "Well, I did get everything I wanted," she said bravely, "well, except for just one thing ..." You can imagine her response when she ripped off the paper! It was so very nice of our friend to do what she did for the Boogie -- she went to a lot of trouble and didn't gain anything from it, except for, as she said, the thrill of finding a bargain.
On the afternoon of Christmas Day MIL and FIL, and one of Eric's brothers and his family all came over for dinner. We ate and ate, and then played Apples to Apples -- I'd never played it before, what a fun game! We had a really nice time. After they left our neighbors Chief, Mrs. Chief, Junior Chief, and a young serviceman from church came over for a visit. All in all it was a great Christmas!
Our last Christmas activity was to make the trek to Delaware on New Years Day for the get-together with FIL's side of the family. FIL's brother and his family weren't able to make it, and one of Eric's brothers was out of town with his family, so it was kind of strange to be there with relatively few people. FIL's dad, Pop3, loves trains and had a round track set up in the basement with a ride-able (is that a word?) Thomas engine. The Boogie, Peabody, and HE spent a lot of time riding on it! They had a lot of fun. It was a very pleasant afternoon.
And now Christmastime is over. Christmas stations have been deleted from Pandora; Christmas movies have been removed from our Netflix queue; Christmas DVDs are relegated to the back of the shelf once more; the living room has been un-decorated and the tree put out with the trash. We kept everything decorated for longer than we normally do -- I kinda didn't want to put it all away but now that it's done the living room feels so nice and uncluttered, not to mention much bigger now that the giant tree has been removed. A fresh start at the beginning of the year!