We returned from Maui three weeks ago (eventually I will get around to posting some pictures from that amazing vacation!!) and since then it’s been all about Christmas.
First on the to-do list was the family tree. This annual excursion is usually more National Lampoons than Norman Rockwell, but this year I must admit it was pretty darn easy. The snow was only ankle deep and we found a perfect tree in minutes rather than hours. It wasn’t too cold, the roads weren’t too treacherous, and (best of all) Sam didn’t get tangled up in any dog team harnesses and dragged down the trail. Maggie didn’t whine, let alone cry. It was sort of shocking.
Raffi’s Christmas music is an essential part of this trip, so here’s a (dirty) window into what it sounds like in our truck as we travel to the perfect tree chopping spot:
It was Maggie’s year to hang the star – a tradition that may end soon since the kids are getting too heavy to lift to the top of the tree!
Of course with the tree comes the train. This is Clark’s obsession and this year’s track circumnavigates the entire living room. It’s been fun listening to the Polar Express whiz around the house for the past few weeks.
Speaking of trains, this year we booked a ride on the Alaska Railroad Christmas train. It was a boisterous two hour ride with visits from Santa, several groups of carolers, and a balloon artist. The popping balloons (and ensuing tears) had us all wishing the train served wine, but luckily we were surrounded by good friends and had Moose’s Tooth pizza waiting for us at the end of the trip.
Another holiday tradition is Tam’s annual mother-daughter (+little boys) cooking and craft party. This year the kids got to make chocolates – an added bonus to an event that is always so fun and festive!
The practice schedule for the kids’ school choir concert was pretty intense the past few weeks – an hour each day before school, and nearly 2 hours each day after school! Our little elf and zebra were exhausted, but loved every minute of it!
Of course we took time to bake cookies for Santa. This is a much more enjoyable activity ever since I accepted that it’s all about process over product in this household!
One afternoon Clark took the kids on their first skiing expedition of the season, while I stayed home and wrapped every gift. It is my goal to be asleep before 3 AM this Christmas Eve!
Somewhere amidst all this we also finished the shopping, the teacher gifts, and the gingerbread house. We attended a few birthday parties and read Gift of the Magi for this month’s moms + kids book club meeting. We finished up gymnastics and flag football. And of course we still had work and school full time… no wonder our house is such a mess! It has been a whirlwind, but now the holiday is finally upon us and it’s time to relax.
Right now we’re off to a Soup and Songfest around a campfire at a friend’s house, and then we shall try to get our overly excited children to bed at a reasonable hour.
As for tomorrow… we probably won’t even get out of our pajamas!