Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Activities

I hope you're in this for the long haul, because this is a mega post!

The Christmas season is always so fun.  It's something that our whole family looks forward to all year.  We always have our traditions that we do every year that help to make the season even more special.  Here are some things that we always look forward to:

Within the last few years, LL and Grammy have started going to The Nutcracker together.  This is LL's 3rd or 4th year, but she still loves it and looks forward to going so much.  She will even watch a super old VHS at Grammy's house of a version of The Nutcracker that has MaCaulay Culkin in it!

Our elf, Sparkle, always shows up the day that we decorate for Christmas.  The kids always love when she shows up.  I have to say, Sparkle did a pretty jam up job this year at being our elf.  She was pretty awesome!  One Saturday, she brought these Christmas activity books for the kids to work on!

Sparkle also always bring the kids Christmas pajamas on the day that she shows up.  Sometimes they're matching, sometimes they're not.  The matching ones that she brought this year were just the cutest!

One of my favorite things to do in the Christmas season is so snuggle on the couch with Matt after the kids go to bed with Christmas lights twinkling and a cup of hot chocolate.  It doesn't get much better than this!

LL absolutely loves anything to do with art.  She loves coloring, drawing, painting, etc.  I stayed after school for a few days working on a Santa door hanger for our house, and our art teacher had some supplies for the kids to use.  LL drew and colored this elf all by herself one afternoon while I was working.  As someone who is not artistic at all, I was blown away!  She did amazing!

Since moving into our new building, our church has started a preschool.  For a preschool fundraiser, they had a "Jingle and Mingle" breakfast one Saturday morning.  We were able to go, eat breakfast, play some games, and meet Santa.  The kids had a blast and it was fun to have something new to do!

A new tradition is even more fun when your bff's come!

There were several cute Christmas games and crafts for the kids to do.

Obviously the highlight of the morning was getting to meet the big man himself!  It was so nice because we weren't rushed, there wasn't a big crowd, etc.  And since we were at church, the kids felt super at ease and not really nervous at all.

We got such a good picture with Santa!

This was a new game that Sparkle played with the kids this year and they loved it!  They both said this was their favorite thing that she did the whole time she was here!

We saw this at the store and got it to try - and it was very good!

Another fun tradition that we have every year is baking cookies at Grammy and Pop's house.  This is the first year that both kids really stuck it out the whole time (from start to finish).  And they made some really yummy cookies!

Hard at work!

Cooper is a hard worker, but he also takes after his Daddy when it comes to cookie dough.  I think he ate just as many as he made!

Matt and I were baking right along with the kids!

First batch going in the oven!

You can tell the one Cooper decorated - haha.

While Sparkle does bring the fun, she also tries to remind the kids of the real reason for why we celebrate Christmas.

After several days of working on him at school, my Santa was done!  He looks great hanging on our front door!

This was the first year in a long time that LL didn't have a Christmas program - so Cooper was the shining star.  He was a townsperson in his program which is the same thing LL was when she was in this class!

He was so handsome and just so excited!

We've had two super cute townspeople!

Gigi and Poppy got there early and were able to score us front row seats - Cooper was so excited when he saw us!!

This happened last year at the end of his performance, too.  He literally just busts out crying.  I think it's because he's so excited and it all just builds up and he holds it all in, that at the end, it's just this huge emotional release.  All of his classmates were very concerned about him!

Once he got it all out, he was ready to go for a group picture!

LL was so sweet to him afterwards and they both were so lovey with each other for the rest of the evening - it was a Christmas miracle!

After I saw Meghan post about these on social media, I found these Santa letters at Target.  It was perfect for my kids because it had one form that was great for Cooper's age and one that was great for LL's age.  Here was Cooper's letter to Santa this year:

And this was LL's letter:

The weekend before Christmas, our church had a music only service.  The kids were participating in a few of the songs at the end, and LL really wanted us to wear our matching dresses.

Before the service, we found the "Merry Christmas" signs and got a few pictures in front of the huge Christmas tree.

LL was sooooo nervous leading up to this, but she ended up doing a great job!

LL had so many family members come to see the music service and see her sing.  It was a great opportunity to get a group shot!

We even coordinated our outfits with Meghan -we had Santa, reindeer, and snowmen!

After church, we went by the post office to drop off our letters to Santa!  They have a special mail box that gets the letters directly to him.

Sparkle also brings us gingerbread houses to make every year.  This year, she brought a pack that had 4 little houses in it so we all got to make one!

Cooper with the finished product for me and him.

LL and Daddy with their finished products!

Thanks, Sparkle!

At the beginning of every school year at Cooper's school, the moms sign up to be "party moms" for different parties throughout the year.  It's hard for me to sign up to help since the parties always fall when I'm at school, too.  Since this is our last year having a child in preschool, I signed up to help with the Christmas party and took the day off to help.  There were two of us signed up (there's typically 2-3 moms that sign up), and we went with a Snowman theme.  These cute little donut snowmen were so cute and so easy to make!

All ready for the kids!  The table turned out so so cute!!

I don't often get to go to things at Cooper's school during the day, so I love it and soak it up when I can!

All of the kids had made sweet little presents for the moms.  This was so stinking adorable!  When I asked Cooper what he was doing in this picture, he said "Being a king" bahahaha.

Cooper and his best little friend this year - Harbour.

Cooper absolutely loves his teachers this year!

When we got home from his party, Cooper had gotten a letter back from Santa!!  They both got personalized letters back within 2 days that they loved!!  It was so neat, and they both referenced things that the kids had written in their letters!

Getting all festive for the last (1/2) day of school!!

Christmas time is just so fun!  I think that my favorite thing about it is just how much time we get to spend as a family.  Fun activities with my favorite people just make my heart happy!

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