Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012 (Part 1)

I can't believe how long it's been since I posted, but I also can't believe how crazy-busy it's been around here either.  So Mom, sorry this post is so long in coming.  This is for you!

This year the kids were very excited to get a Christmas tree (shocker)!  They didn't want to wait for their dad to get done with his finals on the 13th of Dec., before getting a tree (again, shocker)!

I thought it would break some long-held, deep, universal law of nature to get the tree without James.  I thought the earth might implode or the season vanish. To not go as a "family" was unheard of. 

Then a friend and neighbor, who's husband is also in school, but is all done with finals and boards and is just working in a clinic, told me that they had just gotten back from cutting down their tree.  She had taken her kids while her husband was at work!  

Whoa, wait a minute, you can do that!?!  The seeds were planted in my head.  The wheels in my brain came to a screeching halt and slowly started moving again, in reverse this time.  In the end, we looked at the weather forcast and during a break in the rain, I took the kids to a Christmas tree farm... without James! 

We wandered around for about 15 minutes.  We found a few we liked and finally picked one.  I started the sawing and Logan and Taylor each took a turn as well.  It was fun for them, until they got the saw stuck and couldn't budge it anymore.   Then it was, "Moooooom!  It won't move anymore!"

We chose a small tree (5 feet), which is good because I had to heft the thing back to our car.  We got it home and in a tree stand and almost straight, all without James.  Next year, we're going as a family again!

James brought the tree in the house for us and I strung the lights and the kids decorated it.  It was a real team effort.  

It was nice to just sit back and watch the kids decorate the tree.

 They did such a good job, I didn't even have to "rearrange" any of the ornaments when they weren't looking.

They studied the tree and discussed where to put certain ornaments.

 And thus, is the story of our Christmas tree this year. I don't think I have a picture of the finished product though.

The kids then made "gingerbread" houses a few days before Christmas.  

I really should have been doing something on my mile-long to-do list, but we did this instead.  And we all had so much fun.

 We just used graham crackers this year.  Wow, it's so much easier than making your own dough and all.  They turned out cute too!


 Logan's finished house, complete with fence around the property and smoke coming out of the chimney.

  Taylor's two-story house, complete with icicles hanging from the eves and a woodpile in the yard. 

On Christmas Eve we went to James' parents house.  We had a huge Christmas Eve Buffet, a Sharp family tradition.  There was enough food to feed an army.  Unfortunately there were only 6 adults, 4 of whom were counting their calories, 1 of which always eats like a bird and 1 who was training for a marathon.  There were also 6 children, all under the age of 10.  

We did our best though.  We gave it a valiant effort.  

James and I have always told our children the "truth" as we know it about Santa Claus.  We're not Santa experts or anything, but we've always answered honestly when they've asked about about "the big man."  James jokes that he doesn't want all the credit (and gratitude) for the gifts to go to someone else.  I have just felt that I want my children to know that if they ask me a question, I will always tell them the truth.  

So that's just how we've done it in our family.  I know everyone has their own Christmas traditions and Santa may or may not play a part in them.  I think whatever good things people choose to celebrate at Christmas is great and that traditions are wonderful.

Well this year, with the Polar Express book and movie being a favorite, the kids have talked more about Santa.  

     Taylor even left out cookies and milk for him.  

 We've never done this before...

 but we played along...

and it brought wonderment and joy to their faces.  As you can see, Logan's is the wonderment and Taylor's is the joy.  

I'm going to have to finish up this post later, but not too much later.  Promise.  But it's time to put the kids in bed and I want to post something tonight. 

So I will return again soon.