Rise and shine on Christmas day happened around 8:00am. Nathan was the first to wake saying "Mommy, let's go downstairs!" "Santa!" So we rounded up the rest of the family and headed down in excitment.
1st Check: The Cookie Plate
Yup, looks like Santa was here indeed!
We'll have to make sure Daddy those reindeers eat ALL of their carrots next time! Shame on them!
2nd Check: The Tree
Wow Santa, you've been very generous to The N Boys this year! I wonder what you've brought?
Holy Mother of Train Tables!
... a shopping cart and a stove too!
Let's get cooking brother!
...and let the paper ripping continue!
Want to know what made Nathan hop on the couch and hold his head????
It's SPIKE Jr. - ROAR!!!!!!! (Thank you Grandpa Steve and Grandma Rhea, OMG you guys are telepathic! I will have to give you the back story on Nathan & Spike the dinosaur!)
...and there's even more fun things to play with too!
Opening presents and playing sure builds up an appetite! Time for Christmas breakfast!
Rudolph pancakes, of course!
...and a snowflake for the grown ups! No,wait! That's Mommy's famous biscuit breakfast pizza! A Christmas tradition! Here, help yourself...
We definitely had a WHITE Christmas this year! Look at the view:
The rest of the day was filled with nonstop play and a nice casual dinner with family and one of our snowed in neighbors. The more the merrier! We had great conversation and the food was delicious! (::pats self on back::)
Merry Christmas & Happy Birthday Jesus! Thank you for giving us another year in love, joy, thankfulness and blessings! Thank you to our family and friends for your love, thoughtfulness and generousity. We appreciate you so much and wish you all a wonderful Christmas holiday!
You can find the cutest personalized Santa video for the kids at the Portable North Pole website! It includes santa speaking to them personally, saying the kids name, showing his "file" of them and what they asked for this year. It's adorable! (Great quality and realistic)
The Advent fun continues this week with lots of in-house caroling, (jingle bells being top of the list) and festive foods to include:
A Gingerbread Train
Pocket Pies (Apple, Sweet Potato and Ham&Cheese)
Mema's in town for the holidays, and the fun, love and joy has tripled for sure! We've been crafty and creative during these snow days. Other activities this week included reading lots of books, trying their first candy canes and learning about the religious history/tradition behind them. Top of The N Boys list is spending quality "spoiling" time with their beloved Grandma aka Mema! Life is good...
Making Choo-Choo Trains!
Nick and I opted for the train craft!
The pocket pie maker and pancake molds are from the Williams-Sonoma store. LOVE THAT PLACE!
As one of our advent activities over the weekend, the boys got to try their first taste of Eggnog! One of several "holiday" themed food or drink items from our list. Nick loved it. Nathan was more interested in the cookies. I used a rolled wafer, in lieu of an actual cinnamon stick.
It's beginning to feel and look a lot like Christmas around here! We are currently snowed in. There's about 10 inches down now. City school closings, no trash pick up, etc. Thankfully, we're stocked and most is well and warm with us. (Nathan isn't at 100%) We've had a great time celebrating the ADVENTure of Christmas so far! ...so let's pick up where we left off. Day 1 was the rudolph themed day and...
Day 2 - Put up the tree!
Day 3 - Pick a new Christmas book & have story-time tree side.(Nicks' pick this year! )
Day 4 - Watch a Christmas movie.(Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure)
Day 5 - Decorate.
Our wreath went up outside, then the boys made thier own mini wreaths to hang up with the advent calendar and stockings. We attempted to decorate the tree and quickly realized only the top half of ornaments were safe. A few broken endings came for some of our beloved ornaments. So, we filled the bottom with wooden and foam craft ornaments. (Those are basically thrown all over the floor.) Afterwards, Nathan got comfy on the couch and watched more christmas cartoons.
Day 6 - Nick & Nathan's 2009 Ornaments
Every year, each member of our family picks an ornament that relfects a love, passion or interest of the year. This year, we chose Hallmark ornaments for the boys. For Nathan, we chose a Thomas themed ornament. I think it's a perfect pick for his 2009 daily obsession. For Nick, we chose a backpack. The kid LOVES his backpack! He even learned to say backpack and wears it in or out of the house. It's a perfect pick for one of his dear posessions of 2009.
Every year, I find the year end Holidays, traditions, celebration and reflection exciting. I am especially looking forward to our Advent calendar and activities with the children this year. We definitely want to instill in them at a young age, the spiritual history, tradition, stories and purpose of Christmas. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival shipment of our new advent calendar "wall tree" from Pottery Barn to fill it up with treats, versus and activities. I also purchased a great book through Amazon.com called The ADVENTure of Christmas: Helping Children Find Jesus in Our Holiday Traditionsby Lisa Whelchel and Jeannie Mooney.
We kicked day 1 off with a craft, song and story all themed at RUDOLPH! I initially planned to purchase a few Christmas craft kits, and later found a pack of leftover sheets of foam. So, in no particular order, shape or fashion...I turned them into cute little "paste to assemble" style art projects. I just randomly cut out indivual pieces and made snowmen, rudolph, santa hats, mittens and wreaths.
Nathan chose this Rudolph craft for today.
When Daddy gets home we'll do our Advent wreath, annual ornaments and tree. Once the advent calendar arrives I plan to fill it up with a few edible treats, random activities for us to do written on papers, pictures of past christmas memories, ornaments, scriptures, etc.
Our Holiday Goals/Traditions/Ideas are listed below. I know they are young for most of this. But this is the sum of our "yearly intent".
Learn/teach the history and traditions of and celebrate Advent with an Advent Calendar and Advent wreath, etc.
Learn/teach the history of and Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas.
Put up and decorate tree and home to our Holiday music.
Give and donate time, food and gifts and/or money.
Celebrate Jesus' Happy Birthday and give Him a gift from our hearts.
Learn the history and traditions of other holiday cultures and icons.
Sing and learn Christmas Carols
See Christmas lights
Attend church services
Participate in a community holiday event
Pick our annual ornament that reflects what we loved/did for that year.
Annual Christmas photos and cards to family
Homemade breakfast pizza and dinner
Read Christmas books
Watch Annual Christmas shows and movies.
Visit Santa & write to him.
Traditional Drinks and Foods: Egg Nog, Hot Cocoa, Cider, etc.
Try a winter activity like ice skating, etc.
Wear Our matching Christmas PJs to bed on Christmas Eve