Last year I wrote a list of all our planned activities for the week of Christmas, and it was really neat to look back on it, so I'm doing it again this year. It's more for myself than anyone else, but in case you want to know what we're up to....
Today: we started off the day with breakfast out with some good friends of ours and their kids, then Annika went over to her Grandma and Grandpa's house to bake and decorate Christmas cookies. While she was gone and Emmett and Carey were napping, I made chocolate coconut cream balls for taking to a family gathering on Boxing day (they are amazing - I'll try to post the recipe soon). Tonight we are planning to go see the lights at the Winter Wonderland display. We've done it for the past 2 years, and it's become a Christmas tradition of ours.
Sunday: church in the morning, nothing planned for the rest of the day except to make our annual batch of "Christmas" pancakes for supper - which are just regular pancakes, but I have a special pan that cooks special designs (snowman, tree, Santa, etc) in them.
Monday (Christmas eve): Family gathering (Carey's mom's side) for lunch and supper - about a half hour drive from here. This is always a fun gathering, but usually ends up being a late night, which can be hard on the kids (which is then hard on us, the parents!).
Tuesday (Christmas): I plan to make Pilsbury cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we'll have a bit of family time at home to open gifts. Then it's off to Carey's parents' place for lunch and my parents' place for supper. We are very lucky to have both of our sets of parents close by us (10 minutes drive or less), so we get to see everyone on Christmas.
Wednesday (Boxing Day): for the past few years we've had 2 family gatherings on Boxing Day (one for lunch and one for supper), and we've made it to them both, despite having to drive around the countryside quite a bit. This year we again have 2 gatherings scheduled for Boxing Day, but after the craziness of last year (when I felt exhausted and sick and sighing with relief when it was all over), we've decided to only go to one of them. We'll be going to a gathering with my dad's side for the afternoon and supper - about an hour drive from here. In the past I really haven't been able to enjoy this gathering as much as I would've liked to, since we often arrived late (after everyone was already sitting down and we had to go sit at a table by ourselves) and I was usually so tired by the end of the day that I just wanted to go home. I'm looking forward to it this year, and hopefully I'll have a bit more time and energy to visit with family that I don't get to see very often. It will be another late night, but hopefully the kids will sleep on the drive home.
No plans after that! Carey "technically" has the rest of the week off work, but chances are good that he'll probably go in for a little while anyways. But there will still be lots of time to relax and enjoy being together as a family, which is what I think I'm looking forward to the most!