Putting up the Christmas tree
The kids did a great job of helping me decorate the Christmas tree last week. Yes, there is an abundance of decorations in the bottom 2 feet of the tree, but Annika is doing her best to help even things out. I told her to try not to bunch all the decorations in one spot, and now whenever she notices that there are 2 ornaments on one branch, she notifies me and asks if she can move them (I've since told her that she's free to move them around without always telling me). ;) As some of you know, I like my Christmas tree the way it is (blue and silver with snowflake ornaments) and I'm not crazy about the idea of a lot of mis-matched homemade ornaments, however, if you look closely at the picture of Annika and the tree, you'll notice that one ornament she made at school did in fact make it onto the tree. It's a pine cone with sparkles on it. Annika hung in on the tree, right front and center, and I haven't even moved it!
These are actually the kids' Christmas outfits from last year, but they still fit! Emmett got a new shirt for underneath his vest, and he never actually wore those pants last year (they're a size 12-18m but they're way bigger than that), but I was so glad that his vest still fit - isn't it adorable? He looks like such a little man, and Annika just loves this dress.
Making gingerbread houses
We normally make gingerbread houses with Carey's extended family (it's a family tradition), but this year we had to miss because of Emmett's birthday party, so we made gingerbread houses at Carey's parents' place the other day. Annika decided that she wanted hers to be a gingerbread stable with a manger, instead of a house, so we left off one side and one roof piece to make it look more like a stable. I just love her creativity. I made Emmett's little house out of graham crackers, and he and Carey had a great time putting candy on it. My house is the one on the left - I love decorating gingerbread houses. I think it's something I'll never grow out of. :)
Visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus
Santa and Mrs. Claus came to visit the kids this morning at Y Neighbours (another yearly tradition). The kids aren't crazy about Santa (even though we actually know this couple in real life and I whispered to Annika to look closely and see if she recognized them), so we don't push the Santa thing too much. We've never gone to see Santa in the mall, but it's nice to get a picture each year from at Y Neighbours.
The advent calendar
This tradition dates back till when I was a kid. My mom made this advent calendar for me and my brother when we were little and we used it each and every year that we lived at home. Just last year it made its way to our house, and I'm so glad that we could use it again this year. The kids take turns putting an ornament up each day - Annika is working from the top down and Emmett from the bottom up! It's so fun to see them enjoying a tradition that I enjoyed myself as a kid, and to hear Annika's different views on things. For instance, my brother and I had an on-going agreement that the star would ALWAYS be the last ornament put up, on Christmas day, but Annika decided that it should be the first thing to be put up. Also, do you see the little green angel (right above the deer, towards the bottom)? Annika insists that that's not an angel, it's a dinosaur eating a person. Where does she come up with these things?? She also thought that the baby Jesus looked like a girl. :P
How have you been getting ready for Christmas? What are your special traditions?