We put up our tree on Thanksgiving Day after our meal. We had nothing to do that afternoon and I just couldn't wait to see Drew's face when we announced the activity. He was thrilled, and Hannah thought it was pretty fabulous, too. We watched the Macy's Day Parade and decked the halls, a little less this year than year's past.
Drew's favorite activity was riding through 2 light display shows. We've spent money on those every year since he was small, and this was the first year we got our money's worth. He loved them and constantly asks to go back. I have a feeling he will not be too excited to see them all taken down tomorrow. The first one we toured is directly across from our neighborhood. He grabbed his hot chocolate and we loaded into the car--all in our PJs. After that, he thought it was a requirement to wear your PJs to the light shows. We rode in my lap through the display and laughed hysterically at the ball that looked as though it were bouncing toward your car and ended with the phrase "kaboom!" The man who apparently heads up this light show also decorates his house--and quite elaborately! He was outside almost every night, dressed as Santa and handing out suckers to kids in cars who stopped by to see his display. He had multiple references to Christ's birth around his yard, which was so encouraging to see.
The other light show we saved until a few nights before Christmas. It's a good 30 minute drive away plus a 45 minute wait in line to drive through, so we wanted to all be in the Spirit. The kids enjoyed it for sure, and the displays were really detailed and impressive! We followed it up with a trip to Abner's, our favorite chicken restaurant that Southaven no longer has--bummer!
Another night, we decided we would go check out "Graceland, all in lights" and followed it with a visit to Krispy Kreme. The kids weren't at all impressed with Graceland, and truth be told, I was probably the only one who cared anything about that little jaunt thanks to my crush on Elvis around age 10. However, we all enjoyed some hot donuts! The kids went inside and, for the first time, got to see how donuts were made. Drew really enjoyed that. No kidding, Preggo here had 3. They were just SO good and hot.
Our friends, the Haneys, asked us to join them and the Jourdans at Zoo Lights one night. We saw Santa on the way in. He was the most realistic, sweetest Santa I've ever seen. He paid close attention as I called Drew's name, then Santa called him by name as he came up. Drew, of course, assumed Santa knew it all on his own. He told Drew he had sure grown since the year before and plopped him up on his lap. He asked Drew what he wanted for Christmas, and the best way I can describe it is to say he was like Ralphie in A Christmas Story. He was just kinda dumbfounded that he was finally on The Big Guy's lap. Santa prodded him again about what he wanted for Christmas. Drew proudly exclaimed he wanted a swing set. We were a little shocked since this was one week before Christmas and he'd been begging for a TRAIN set. Thankfully, Drew corrected himself and requested the train set instead. Hannah wanted nothing to do with Santa except to snatch a piece of candy from his candy dish. Maybe next year. :) I was not adequately prepared for the subarctic temperatures that night.. For some reason, I could have promised I saw higher temps on my weather predictions. Anywho....we froze. All except Drew. He ran around that place so much, his cheeks were red and warm. And he insisted he take off his coat. I figured when he got cold enough, he'd put it back on. Well, that kid left that jacket off for over an hour in 40 degree weather. Finally, right at the end of the night, Drew & I jumped onto the free train ride. When the winds were finished with us on the ride, we both had chattering teeth and were ready for the van. And Drew put his coat on without argument. ;)
|See Drew at the bottom?|
On Christmas eve day we used our cookie cutters and made cookies for Santa. Drew and Hannah both loved this, but I think Hannah mostly enjoyed sneaking bites of raw cookie dough! ;) Drew & Daddy decorated them later so we could leave them for Santa that night.
On Christmas eve night, we met my sister and her family, my grandmother, Ms. Debbie, and my parents at my parents' house for our traditional dinner and gift opening. The fish was delicious and the kids looked SO cute in their matching jammies! We took our traditional family picture and opened gifts.
Drew was so shocked to get the tractor he'd been asking for for about a year and a half. He'd originally asked for one for Christmas last year, his birthday this year, and again for this Christmas. I kindly explained to him how much they cost and that Santa probably wouldn't be able to buy him one this year since he had gotten a Jeep the year before. He was bummed about it for just a minute, but never asked again. So when Mom led him outside and revealed his tractor to him from her and Papaw, he was truly SHOCKED and SOOO excited! He was so proud to take Hannah on a ride. :)
Christmas morning we woke up to Santa's goodies! Drew & Hannah got their train table! Drew played with it for a good 30 minutes before Hannah finally got up. Then we opened all the wrapped gifts. They were so excited and had a ball ripping open paper.
We met all the family at Aunt Dianne's for lunch about 1 and enjoyed delicious food. The kids opened MORE gifts and we played Take Away (Dirty Santa). Andrew and I got Logan's gift cards--woohoo--we we thrilled since that's Drew's and Hannah's restaurant of choice (peanuts on the floor + rolls + mac & cheese=kid's dream spot!).
On December 26, we got the closest thing to a white Christmas I've ever experienced. It was COLD and the ground had a good dusting of snow on the ground. It was enough that Drew rode his tractor through it and made snowballs from the snow on the hoods of the vehicles. They stayed out there an hour and had a ball!
We were so excited that Andrew got to take a WEEK off at Christmas to spend with us. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it and were bummed when they woke up this morning to find Daddy was back at work.
Tonight is NYE, and we let the kids stay up til 10, eat ChickFilA for dinner, wrestle in the floor with us, take crazy pictures, and eat brownie batter. My goal word for 2012 was "simplify" and, I think we rang out the old year celebrating that way--simply. So happy new year to you, whether you celebrated extravagantly or simply! Blessings to you!