At the end of November I put together a short list of things to celebrate the Christmas season. The very first thing we did was decorate the Christmas tree. My first solo day with three kids we had 10 hours to ourselves to make ornaments out of cardboard. We made a few that helped us remember Jesus as well as some circles for the kids to paint however they liked. When Nathan heard Christmas was Jesus’s birthday he wanted to make a birthday cake ornament for him with a candle on top. It was the perfect way to get through the day – blasting Christmas music, occasional dance parties, and painting.
Andrew came home to help us finish hanging the ornaments. Nathan insisted his birthday cake ornament go at the “tippy tippy top.” Soon the kids wanted all the ornaments at the very top. Andrew helped the kids rearrange a bit to round out the rest of the tree.
We finished off the night with hot chocolate and Andrew reading us the Christmas story.
We did light the world at breakfast each day, even if it was to watch the video and talk about it. At lunch we memorized The Living Christ.
Andrew, Emily, and Nathan went to the ward Christmas Party. Emily and Nathan came home with candy cane reindeer that they made. Nathan ate his within a couple of days without saying anything to anyone. Emily kept hers around and hung him on the tree.
Andrew’s family had the tradition of making treats and delivering them to people when he was growing up and he wanted to include that in our yearly festivities. The last few years we’ve made something up very last minute. This year I was prepared and the kids and I planned to make chocolate granola for months. We even made a project of washing all the jars and storing them away towards the end of my pregnancy so all we would have to do is make the granola and fill the jars up.
Emily took over the camera for part of the night to take pictures of Laura and I, and then a shot of the granola. We walked around our freezing neighborhood together and delivered the jars.
A big part of December was making gifts. Andrew had the brilliant idea to do a DIY version of the game Gobblet Gobblers for our families, naming his Tic Stack Toe. He 3D printed all the wood pieces and glued them together to make three different sized boxes. We made painting the boxes a family activity. We all had a hand in making the bags. It was really fun and they turned out great. We’ve already enjoyed playing ours a lot.
I finished up the Waldorf Dolls I had been working on for a few months. The dolls turned out REALLY well. The clothes not so much. I’ll have to finish the clothes/start from scratch but I’m taking a break from sewing for awhile. I sent a pictures of the dolls to my Grandma Blomquist who is a doll collector and she quickly responded, “They are adorable!” She died unexpectedly a few hours later and I’m so glad I was able to share this last project with her.
Emily made lots of books to give to everyone for Christmas.
The kids and I sat down and watched the Nutcracker together one afternoon and got all cozy under the blankets. It has been their Friday movie of choice every since. Emily is often Clara and Nathan declare’s himself “Fritz Jackson” or dances around like the Nutcracker.
On my list for a few years has been to go to McCord’s Candy to watch them make candy canes. We made it this year and it was super fun to see the process. They make it in the third floor of the shop where there is no heating or air conditioning so they control the temperature (which really matters in candy cane making) by opening the window or turning up the fire. Once the candy canes were rolled out and cut we each got to shape our own to bring home.