Putting up the Christmas tree and decorations has definitely been a big deal. Most of my decorations hang on the wall to protect from little hands. But the tree is the favorite anyway. We had the tree up for a few days before we had time to get the decorations out. When we finally got everything out to decorate, Luke thought that was the best family night ever. He is now the self appointed master of the lights on the tree, deciding when it is time to turn them off or on.
This year I was really excited to take the kids on The Polar Express. As an added bonus, we got to go with Grandma and Grandpa Whitesides and lots of cousins. Both kids seemed to think the entire experience was pretty amazing. They danced and sang with elves, talked to Santa, and of course, got their tickets punched by the conductor.
Back when I was single and had a lot more time and energy, I used do do a little Christmas night with the kids. This year I sent the parents out for a break and partied with the little ones. We did crafts, ate pizza, and even had a Christmas story read to us by Olaf. The only thing we didn't do was drive around and look at lights - no where near enough car seats. Even without an outdoor adventure, I would say the night was a success.
Since Jessica will be busy with finals and then heading back to Texas, we went to see the parade of lights a little earlier this year. No worries, we stuck to tradition: Pizza Factory then way too many people crammed into one car to see the lights together. The new detail of riding in the back of Cory's truck really just made the fun complete.
Ada is in her school choir and they have been working hard the last several months on their Christmas program. I'm so clad she invited me to come watch - they were so good and amazed us all with the wide range of music that they did.
A few weeks ago several families in our neighborhood started putting lights on their houses. Ever since, Luke has been relentless in begging us for lights on "Luke's house". If you know Tim, you know that he is the best daddy ever, but he really proved himself this time. While I was at work he went and bought the lights, put the kids down for a nap, then spent some time on the roof hanging everything. As a bonus, he did get this amazing sunset.
The kids are thrilled with the lights. They wanted to spend all night outside running around and showing off our house. I don't blame them, it is pretty darn festive.