Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas, friends! We are half way through December already, can you believe it???
Here's what is cooking at our house! We haven't had a Christmas tree in a few years. Now that Tyler is almost 3 it seemed wrong to not have one this year. He was SO excited to go with his Papa and Nana to pick one out and to help put it up and decorate. Christmas is a real thing to him already. The whole package. The movies, the songs, the baking, the lights, all of it. Childhood excitement about Christmas is what makes the holiday magical, if you ask me. And of course we are working on the concept of it being the birthday of Jesus.
I took Tyler on errands yesterday and he spontaneously told everyone we saw "Merry Christmas!" He made a lot of people smile, including me.
Here is how you decorate a tree with a toddler boy. God bless his Papa (sore shoulders and all) because like me, he cannot say no to the grandson! If I had thought of it earlier, I might have made this photo into Christmas cards! Ha ha ha! I can foresee a "Christmas Vacation" decorating team in our future. Tyler with the ball of Christmas lights to untangle, Bryan overloading the electrical system. That is Bryan's favorite part of the movie - when the emergency switch has to be thrown to stop the blackout. It takes a former Navy gas turbine mechanic to appreciate the humor there. Or an electrician. Anyway...
I did not get the Advent calendar made in time to start the month. I told myself I would do it next year, but when Tyler started asking how long til Christmas, I knew I had to get this made, even half way through Advent. So here it is. It has a sleeve on the back and I found a magnetic curtain rod, so it is displayed on the back of our entry door! How cool is that? I am pretty pleased about it. No nail holes in the walls and it is out of reach. This is a fabric panel from Makower fabrics that I have had for a few years. There are little pockets on and around the tree for gifts or tiny ornaments or what-have-yous. I plan to go out after Christmas for some major markdown ornaments that will fit in the pockets, and a small wreath to hang them on for 2012. For now, the remaining Advent pockets have candies and Hot Wheels. There is even a Scion XB Hot Wheel like my daughter's car!
While I made the calendar, my daughter and Tyler made their first gingerbread house together. Can you say sugar high? Tyler was eating the colored sprinkles by licking them off his sticky hands! When my kids were little we lived near this wonderful German bakery in Costa Mesa, CA. Every year they had gingerbread decorating days where the house was pre-assembled and you decorated it with what they supplied or brought your own items to add to it. When that was over, Santa showed up with candy canes and you could take pictures with him. It was fantastic! My kids and I had the best time there! Not having found something like that here yet, we were glad to find gingerbread house kits everywhere. I even saw a chocolate version at Cost Plus World Market. We don't have an IKEA, but we have Cost Plus!
My freaky camera created some interesting effects with the lighted tree in the background. I sort of like this ethereal image of Tyler, who begged me late at night to take his picture in front of the decorated tree. He's sort of the Ghost of Christmas Present, here, right?