Christmas Vacation

We started off Christmas vacation with a bang!  TJ had taken the three days off of work leading up to Christmas which was such a gift for us!  He rarely takes much time off work and to have him home was wonderful.  The kids got out of school at noon on Wednesday, so we picked them up and surprised them with lunch at our favorite restaurant, and then going to a movie!

While we waited for our food, I asked everyone to write down what they wanted to name this baby.   Here's what I got...

Were just a few.

We had the entire movie theatre to ourselves, other than two other people who sat way down at the front, while we headed waaay up to the top!  This was Bev's first movie!  I love to see them get so excited for something out of the ordinary.

Later, we finished off the day by making our gingerbread men.  Whenever I think about baking with the kids, I think to myself how much of a mess it will inevitably make, and do I want to clean the kitchen yet again.  And even though it requires MUCH patience and much cleaning up afterwards, I am always glad that I let them help.  Because ultimately the reason why we do this things is for them to create a memory.  Even if they only remember one or two of the traditions/projects/baking that we do, it's worth it to me. 

My friends and I got up early the next day to do a Spinning class at the gym.  The incentive was that afterwards we would go to Kim's house and indulge on a sweet breakfast and coffee, mixed with great conversation. 

The past couple years we have picked an evening to go driving around town looking at Christmas lights.  It's a fun tradition...but we don't go long!  We make and bring our hot cocoa and candy canes, get into jammies and drive around looking at lights.  Someone usually has to go to the bathroom or they start getting extra wild from the sugar, so we have learned to keep this short and sweet!  We sing along with the Christmas songs from the radio and shout out..red ones...blue ones...look at those...!  This year TJ took us down a street that they call Candy Cane Lane because each house has a huge lit up candy cane in the front yard.  The best part was when George says to us all, do you realize that we are just driving around and around...?  It's the realize that gets me. 

We wait to decorate our tree until Christmas Eve.  Each year we get out the boxes and watch as the kids remember who they got an ornament from and find the perfect spot on the tree for it.  Each child has their own box to keep their ornaments in.  My mom has bought each of them a special ornament every year.  And now that they are bigger, she picks a day to take them out to lunch and then to the store so they can pick out their own.  It's a great tradition and now they have started quite a collection!

And just to clarify, we do not live where it is hot during winter.  I know from the looks of this picture that one may assume so.  I'm not sure how shorts and tank tops made their appearance, but for some reason my kids are wearing them.  The weather has been lovely the past few days, at least the sun has been shining, but hasdefinitely not been n the 70's or 80's. 

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