+ our tree is up, decorated with both colored and white lights, and the kids keep rearranging the ornaments on it.
+ we're listening to christmas music every afternoon and evening. i have to try and play it not too often or else i'll get a little sick of it by the time the 25th rolls around.
+ we've watched elf once, we attempted the polar express but we had to abandon it because it was 'too scary', and we'll sneak in a viewing of the grinch before too long.
+ we're spending mornings reading christmas books and the kids are loving opening two new ones each week that my mom sent to us. our basket of christmas books is overflowing this year!
+ we've had some snow which always makes things feel festive and the kids are loving bundling up in their snow gear and running around, sledding down our little hill in the back, and then coming inside to warm up with some hot chocolate.
+ we've attempted one ski trip already this year to test out avery's 'new' skis. of course she hated it and says she doesn't want to go again and doesn't like skiing. but they should fit ellie by next year, hopefully.
+ we've been making lots of christmas crafts. so far we've done a santa, an elf, a christmas tree, rudolph, a snow globe, and a snowman and our fridge is filling up fast with all of their handiwork.
+ our christmas cards have been ordered, addressed, and mostly sent. i still need a few more stamps for the rest of them.
+ avery's been drawing and painting pictures to give to family members and is really, really excited to wrap some presents.
+ buddy the elf has been slowly making his way around our house and if the kids have noticed that sometimes he doesn't move for four days they haven't said anything.
+ there are mini trees in each of their rooms. the colored lights on ellie's tree are serving as her nightlight right now and it's the coziest thing to see when i read to her before bed.
+ we've planned our christmas dinner menu, although i'm still looking for a good breakfast recipe to eat during some breaks in present opening. i'm thinking we might just go with french toast since that used to be one of avery's favorites and we haven't made it in over a year!
+ we made salt dough ornaments and hung them on the tree. they are quite imperfect but the kids had a lot of fun with them.
+ we still would like to see the zoo lights, make some sugar cookies, have a holiday dinner with some friends, and wrap and mail presents to far away family.
it's been such a wonderful holiday season so far and i'm excited for the rest of it. i will admit that we started decorating before thanksgiving, putting up a few decorations each day but saving the tree for the day after thanksgiving like we always do. with three birthdays between the two holidays it's sort of nice to have the extra time to savor the season and the kids are so, so, so excited for everything. they love every string of lights that we've hung, every garland, every stocking, and every wreath. they love their little trees and they love, love the big tree in our living room. i'm really looking forward to a slow holiday with our little family this year. it's actually been really nice having two 'older' kids who can actually understand everything, help with the decorating, and enjoy the mess of baking and crafting. these days are the best and i will miss them, i know, when they're older and 'cooler'.