This holiday season, it was filled with laughter, baking, lights, smiles, family, squeals of delight and floors covered in wrapping paper. It was, in one word and in the spirit of the holidays, jolly. Let's see if I can keep this somewhat short...
The boys enjoyed making their own ornaments. They both started with an plain glass ornament and turned them into an Angry Bird and Mickey ears. Our kitchen table, the floor, the chair and ourselves were completely covered in red glitter. Jackson had some sort of mangled mess of glitter and glue around his left eye that made him look like a glittery puppy named Spot.
Jackson spent most of December playing under the tree. When he was in trouble you could most likely find him hiding out under the tree in the far back corner with only his legs and half his waist visible. He knew that I wasn't going to crawl under the tree to get him.
It just wouldn't be the holiday season without baking lots of goodies like...
Reindeer cupcakes - I have Pintrest to thank for these. They were not only super easy to make but a lot of fun too! I made it super simple and used a chocolate cake mix (I like to use the milk chocolate cake mix and then I always mix in 1/2 cup of mini-chocolate chips to the batter. This time I also sprinkled the top of the batter in the cupcake liners with more mini-chocolate chips.) I'm not really a fan of pre-made frosting so I made my favorite chocolate buttercream.
My new holiday favorite, Peppermint Crunch Cookies. Candy cane sugar cookie dough + vanilla candy melts + crushed candy canes = awesome.
Usually we make sugar cookies for Santa but this year Drew insisted that we make gingerbread men (and women). He's had sort of a fascination with gingerbread things since he read "The Gingerbread Man" at school. I think he was secretly hoping that his gingerbread man was going to come to life and hop out the front door like he does in the book.
The trip to see Santa went great. The three Santa visitors in front of us screamed and cried and looked every bit terrified of Santa. I just knew that Jackson was going to see this and think that Santa was pinching them or telling them scary stories. He either completely missed the horrified screams or didn't care. Nothing was holding him back from telling Santa all about the Mickey spaceship he wanted.
Christmas morning: This reaction was absolutely priceless. This made the one hour of sleep that "Santa" got totally worth it!
Drew had a plan, open the biggest first. Jackson, on the other hand, just flat out asked, "Which one is my Mickey spaceship?"
Later that morning I was finishing up some work on my laptop while the boys played with all their new toys. Two hours later Mike is waking me up asking "Did you actually fall asleep ON your computer?" Yup. I actually did. Face down on the keyboard. The last time I did that was while writing a 10-page essay my senior year.
After my keyboard nap we headed to Mom's for Christmas. Jackson and Drew played "build a fort with all the presents" while Santa-Karin handed them out. Mom's house was a blizzard of wrapping paper and we ended up with a car packed so full with new toys that I wasn't sure we would be able to shut the back door.
This Christmas was crazy. It flew by super fast and even though it was great there was one thing that was missing. We always spend Christmas eve at my Grandpa's house with all my family on my dad's side. We've been following that tradition since I was a little girl and I always look forward to it. This year we spent Christmas eve with Grandpa in a hospital room. On one hand I'm so very thankful that we had another Christmas eve with my Grandpa but on the other it just didn't feel like Christmas without the warmth of his house, the silly stories, the singing Christmas creatures and all the family there. I'm so very much going to miss that.