Looking back on these pictures (and I only documented a portion), I really can't believe that we managed to squeeze this many activities into 25 days! I will feel like all of the planning, pack-muling, and fun-facilitating was worth it if, when the boys are grown, they are filled with magical memories of Christmastime.
Elf on the Shelf:
Donald visited our house again this year, reporting back to the North Pole each night on our behavior. I really don't like to play up the Santa aspect of Christmas too much, but I do love the feeling of magic and excitement that Donald brings with him as he appears in crazy locations in our house each morning.
One of our favorite family Christmas activities is seeing Christmas lights. This year we checked out a couple different displays, including this amazing "tree of life."
I think the kids all left our visit to Santa's reindeer feeling a little perplexed. If the idea of eight flying reindeer pulling a sleigh around the world was hard to swallow before, seeing these two small, tired, pretty lifeless reindeer didn't make the story any more plausible.
We lucked out and chose a night to visit Temple Square that wasn't completely frigid. Aside from the lights, which are spectacular, the kids think it's fun to visit the city at nighttime. On the way home we stopped for donuts.
I think this is a first: no screamers! We were able to walk right up, give Santa our Christmas lists, snap a quick picture, and be on our way. It was funny to watch Ben and Joey interact with Santa. They didn't even question who this bearded stranger was; they just inherently understood that if they wanted to get presents, they had to tell the man in the red suit. So they did!
Not all of our December activities have something to do with Christmas--sometimes we just need to burn off some of that Christmas break energy. By the time we left the bouncy place, after meeting up with our cousins, the boys were hot and sweaty...and happy!