Christmas Prep

The days after Thanksgiving leading up to Christmas seem to be packed to the brim with activity.  Partying, shopping, decorating, baking, crafting, wrapping, delivering, stamping, eating, visiting... and the list goes on!  There's so much to do and seemingly not quite enough time in which to do it!  It's a flurry that can put my head into a stressful spin if I'm not careful.  Some things fell by the way side this year, like the tradition I have had of wrapping up Christmas books with a countdown number to read every night before bed.  We just read the books instead.  And with two kids in school, we ran out of time to do all the little dollar crafts I'd purchased.  BUT the Christmas spirit was at an all time high in our home as we made some fun memories together as a family, so I'm pretty sure the month of December was a great success after all.

Take a peek at some of the things we did!

The Annual Santa Brunch at the Blue Lakes Country Club:  This yearly tradition has become something that Jed and Levi not only remember but look forward to!  We ate a delicious breakfast followed by an even more decadent dessert, colored Christmas papers, decorated sugar cookies, got some silly pictures taken as a family in a photo booth, sang carols, and met Santa!  The party really can't be beat.  

^^Such concentration!^^
^^Conrad was so proud of himself standing up in his booster seat.^^

The Kimberly 5th Ward Christmas Party:  Each December, our ward family puts on a dinner party and the festivities vary year by year.  But one thing remains the same--a visit from Santa and Mrs. Clause!  It's fun to watch Jed and Levi get so excited to sit on his lap.  Conrad's reaction to Santa for the very first time was priceless.  He tried pulling his beard!  Good thing this Santa Clause is authentic.

^^The Christmas Tree table decorations that Jed took home with us.^^

Home:  We stuck to many of our annual traditions that included decorating the Christmas tree, assembling simple crafts, visiting the lights, and creating culinary masterpieces edible treats.  This year, Jed and Levi were delighted to take paper plates door to door one evening.  The joy of giving was evident on their excited faces!  Yup.  We can do something right as parents.  

^^Candy cane + 1 year old = sticky from head to toe.^^
^^This picture of Levi slays me.  Wearing a baseball cap over his curly hair.  And that attitude.  Uh-oh.^^ 
^^Super excited about the ornament he made me at school!  Too cute.^^
^^All three boys playing quietly with the new puzzles Grandma Nelson gave them when she came to visit for Bron's 34th birthday.  I love new toys for this reason.^^
^^Santa's Little Helper wasn't all that helpful this year, but he sure was cute!^^
^^Homemade turtles.  So simple.  And so delicious.  The perfect treat for the boys to make.  But it's popular.  The pretzels had been picked over at the store!^^
^^Jed's tongue sticking out in concentration.  It doesn't get more sincere than that!^^
^^I love kindergarten handwriting.  Levi's scrawl warmed me from the inside out and made me laugh out loud.  His card reads, "Love The Nelsons Heart NFL"
^^And of course, Conrad just being silly in the living room one day.^^
^^Ornaments are always sooo pretty to photograph!^^
^^Levi making faces in the golden reflection.  He's a hoot.^^

December, I wish your twinkly lights, giving spirit, and excitement lasted all winter long.

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