Monday, January 4, 2016

Very Merry 2015: Part 1

Some holidays are more magical than others.  Obviously, when viewed through the eyes of a child, Christmas must be the most magical of them all.  Flying reindeer, a fat man squeezing down a chimney, elves on shelves, the list goes on.  In our house, the last month has definitely been magical as we anxiously awaited the arrival of Christmas with Charlie.  While we don't have an elf on the shelf (#1. I think they're creepy #2. I think I'll screw it up #3. I don't want to conform to the trend #4. I admit that I am considering it for next year...) we do have a little advent calendar where a little mouse moves from pocket to pocket each day.  Somedays, the little mouse leaves candy or pencils or trinkets in the pockets, somedays it doesn't.  Let's add magical gift-bearing mice to the list of magical things at Christmas too.  Each morning, Charlie loved checking to see whether or not his little mouse brought him something-- and when his behavior declined at school and the gifts from the mouse slowed down a little bit, he did take notice.

We did all of the normal 'getting ready for Christmas' things: baking cookies (well, we basically ate cookie dough at Liz's house while she did all the work...), making lists, creating paper chains, wrapping and counting and shaking gifts under the tree, singing Christmas songs, and talking a lot about Santa and his elves and his magical workshop.  We failed to write a letter to Santa ("We already did that in school, Mom!") but it's okay because Charlie only wanted to write these two things anyway:
     Dear Santa, I would like football guys that don't break (last year's request--with the hopes that the quality has improved) and a picture of your workshop. Love, Charlie

There were a few more things we forgot (had the fixin's for my favorite Cranberry-Orange sangria and totally forgot to make it--dang it!) but I'm sure they didn't really affect the holiday too much. So now, let's get to what you really came for... the photos.  Go ahead, refill your hot chocolate (might I suggest spiking it with a little Bailey's?), grab a blanket, and take a little glimpse into Christmas in Spahnville 2015...

We spent Christmas Eve watching huge soft snowflakes cover the ground as our forecasted "dusting" quickly accumulated into about 6 inches.  It was all very romantic, with Christmas music playing, peppermint essential oil diffusing, and a fake fire crackling over our tv thanks to Netflix.  And then my children entered the room and the romance waned a little bit.  Well, so much so that I placed an emergency call to Mindy to make sure I wasn't the only one whose Christmas Eve was falling short of the Norman Rockwell image I had somehow let myself believe we were recreating.  (I think Spahnville sounded something like, "Why is everyone so whiney on Christmas Eve?  Why do you need another snack!? Why are you crying now?? What do you mean you're bored!?  It's CHRISTMAS!  We're supposed to be HAPPY! Daddy only bought one bottle of wine!?)

But then, Mason came home from work and somehow put us all back together.  (Actually, he was irritated too but it sounds better this way.)  We bundled up and headed outside to play in the beautiful snow...

And isn't it funny what fresh air can do?  We came inside with rosy cheeks and noses, wet fingers and toes, and lifted spirits.

That night, we let Charlie open one gift and then we took our annual jammies & Christmas tree photos (my favorite tradition) before heading out to look at the lights of Grundy Center.

Ready for our car ride...and then Santa!!!

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