Sunday, February 10, 2013

Christmas Time Traditions

I am determined to blog about December and Christmas related fun happenings before I move on to more current events.  I WILL get caught up, I WILL get caught up.

It's just not Christmastime without a minimally-successful attempt at assembling a gingerbread house before the whole thing caves in on itself and we let the kids eat giant pieces of gingerbread and bad icing for a mid-morning snack.

Why are my children never appropriately dressed?  Harper is in her pajamas, Emerson is wearing a (sleeveless) 'church dress', Aidan's in a swearshirt, and Dane is topless with some sort of lanyard around his neck.  And Brandon is in running clothes.  Don't worry, he doesn't go around sleeveless in public.
She's so pretty...
Christmas this year was spent at my parents' house in the DFW area, and John and Lindy and their families spent quite a bit of time at the house over that week, too.  Pappy and Momo got the PlayDoh out with the kids...
(Harper, Pappy, Nora, and Zane)

Emerson, deep in concentration with super-cool PlayDoh tools that she doesn't have at her house:
And Harper, gleefully mixing all the colors together to make grey PlayDoh:
We also did our "World Vision Chrismas-ing" at Momo and Pappy's house this year.  For the past several years, we have gotten together with Santa, and decided to match whatever Santa spends on our kids at Christmas, with gifts purchased from World Vision (I think last year we actually did Heifer International.)  We give the kids a wad of cash, and let them go through the catalog, choosing which animals they would buy with their money to help others around the world to make a living for themselves.  Knowing that this is part of our Christmas tradition really helps us keep our focus on giving at this time of year.  It also serves as a reminder to Santa to not go too far overboard on Christmas 'stuff' that soon gets forgotten, since we are matching that spending.
This year, Zane and Jack joined with us, and the cousins had fun budgeting their money for animals and 'borrowing' back and forth to stretch their money a little farther.
Christmas morning with all of the little cousins together was really fun.  When we were driving up on Christmas Eve night, we let the kids unwrap one gift, a new set of pajamas for Christmas morning.  And then Christmas morning, we made them all sit on the stairs together so we could have photographic proof of their new pajamas.  
Jack was not thrilled with the whole "sitting on the stairs" portion of Christmas morning. And Parker's not in the picture because we didn't want her to roll down the stairs.  

The Christmas morning scene:

 The girls had a 'Dora and boots' Christmas, and the boys got new Nintendo DS's and Star Wars chairs.  
This is pretty much what the boys did for the remainder of Christmas break:
 Nora tried Emerson's new boots on for size:
 And the girls sported some dress up clothes and new hair accessories:
 And the annual 'Cousins on a Couch' picture, Chrismas Pajamas Edition:
 Part 2 of The Procrastinator's Christmas Wrap-Up coming soon!