Since we’re two days away from Spring, I thought I would close out the winter by doing a little recap on our holiday season, and share what we got the kids for Christmas!
Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday for many reasons. I love the decorations, the smells, and the general feeling of love and happiness. Everyone seems to be just a little more willing to be a kind human for the month. What I love most of all though is the traditions. Christmas traditions have been instilled in me since I was a wee tot, and I love making sure our family keeps up with the ones my mom used to do with us while instilling some of our own. The kids look forward to them and of course I do too!
To kick off the Christmas season, one of the first things we do is get a picture with Santa. I don’t know how long I can keep this tradition up (I’m hoping well into their teens. Am I asking too much?), but for now I’m savoring the sweet spot between them being willing, and now excited to take a picture with Santa, and not being absolutely terrified like they used to be when they were younger.
We also visit the Enchanted Village, a staple in Boston that used to be in Jordan Marsh, then Macy’s, and now in Jordan’s furniture. I know, it sounds super weird. It’s basically old timey Christmas scenes with animatronic people and bears. My mom used to take me when I was little, and it’s just a fun little free activity to do!
Another thing that I’m sure lots of littles love doing is making Gingerbread houses! We tend to buy the little villages so that all of us can decorate our own. I think the kids enjoy eating the candy more than anything, but Isaac is finally at the age where he is kind of into it, which makes it all the more fun!
We also decorate almost every room in the house, make cookies, cupcakes, watch all the Christmas movies, and listen to Christmas music starting in October. That’s right, October. I’m not sorry about it!
This last tradition also isn’t new to anyone, but we love to go and pick a real tree out the weekend after Thanksgiving. Having grown up with only artificial trees, getting a real tree once I moved out on my own felt so special. Something about that smell that I Just love! Now, we don’t go to any cute quaint Cut-your-own Christmas tree farms. Nope. We go to Home Depot. Much less fun and not as pretty for pictures, but it’s convenient and what has worked for our family for the last 10 years or so. The kids don’t mind, and neither do we!
Another tradition we have adopted when decorating the tree is throwing on the OG How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We have been doing it every year since Audrey’s first Christmas and this was the year that she finally got that it’s a “Tadition”. She made sure we put it on before we decorated the tree this year. It was really quite adorable.
Now onto the fun part. The presents. we try to make sure the kids have one big present that they share and then things that they ask for, along with things that they need. I.e., their Christmas Eve pajamas (another tradition), their Christmas outfit, etc. This year, the big present was a playhouse. Audrey had actually been asking for one for a while, but we were hesitant to get one because 1. our house does not have a fenced in yard, and 2. half the year is absolutely freezing (to me) so I didn’t think they would get much use out of an outdoor playhouse. In comes google and Instagram to the rescue where I saw that a lot of people in Australia actually have what they call indoor cubby houses. And with that an idea was born to put the playhouse in the basement. My husband reluctantly agreed, ha!
Now the playhouse was not in anyway what I had seen strewn about on Instagram and Pinterest. It was just a plain cedar house. Of course I couldn’t have that, so then I had the other brilliant idea to paint it to a more aesthetically pleasing color. In the winter. In Boston. Yeah, not one of my brightest ideas. None the less armed with a Youtube tutorial on how to makeover a playhouse, we got to work approximately 3 weeks before Christmas. In between flus and disinfecting the house so that we could have family over for Christmas Eve (another tradition started by my mom) we got it done down to the wire. Meaning that Christmas Eve night.
It was all worth it in the end to me, as the kids love it and it gives them more options at playtime. If I had to do it again though, I probably would have told myself to skip the spray painting. That was a huge time suck and it’s already chipping in places (something all those tutorials online don’t warn about)!
None the less it was an awesome Christmas and I can’t wait to do it again in another 289 days, though I’m not sure how we’ll top a playhouse!
What traditions do you guys have for Christmas? If you’re interested in a step by step tutorial of the playhouse, let me know in the comments below, though it’s pretty self explanatory. Paint everything before putting the house together, skip spray painting the windows, and probably build it in a warmer month if you live in a colder climate like me.
Bye for now!