Friday, December 30, 2011


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.


Scrapthat said...

That is the sad bit about Christmas...missing our loved ones but you have to concentrate on the here and now which is why it's called the "present" :D Looks like a great holiday season at your home! :D Happy to see it! :D

dawn said...

Sorry this Christmas was a little harder and not as merry in a hospital room. I'm glad you still had a great day around that time though.

LOVE LOVE the picture of Drew, what present was it? So awesome you had your camera ready for that one.

How sweet of Jackson, he just wants the easy way out, smart man!!

Laughing at your "NAP" I remember those days of no sleep. My hubby and I started a tradition of let's wrap all the gifts on xmas eve. Oh man we'd be up till 2or3 then the kids would get up between 4&5 and we'd be soooo tired. Now we wrap thru the month and we are in bed by 10or11 and the kids sleep a little longer.

Thank you for sharing these pictures and story's with us. Looks like it was fun for all of you.

Happy New Year, looking forward to another year of your cute family.

Prayers and hugs still for your grandpa and family.

Luv2talk said...

You tell a meaningful story that complements your fabulous pictures. Thanks for letting me lose myself in your world. It seems like a pretty wonderful place.

Carolyn Wolff said...

Allison, your post is beautiful. Even though we live so far away, I somehow feel connected to your world. I am so sorry about your Christmas not being as traditional as it usually is. Although you are letting go of some fond memories, you are definitely creating many new ones. Your boys are so sweet and I love reading about their antics.

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas with your family and I hope that 2012 brings many happy times.

Amy from KC said...

Merry Christmas Allison! Thank you for sharing your holiday with us.

We added a new person to our family on the 28th, a 6 pound 14 ounce little girl that immediately captured our hearts. She developed jaundice, and we ended up spending 2 extra nights in the hospital... including celebrating New Year's watching her under blue bili-lights. We usually spend New Year's Eve at my in-laws playing cards and enjoying an appetizer buffet, just hanging out and enjoying the evening. My father-in-law passed away this summer, and this was a favorite of his. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law ended up saving this New Year's by bringing the party-apps, games, decorations, even champagne- to us in our hospital room. We all shed a few tears missing my father-in-law, but it also felt good to be celebrating a new life. It was bittersweet.

I guess I am writing this to say that I think I get it. It's ok to miss the special things that you are used to doing or having, but when you look around that hospital room and feel the love... you also become aware that what you really need for the holidays is family. In that context, the other things- all of the trappings- are the extras. We all like the extras, but we don't neeeeed them. What we need is our family.

I continue to pray for your grandpa, and all of you, as he continues his recovery from that accident. I hope that next year you are back at his home on Christmas Eve!

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