Posts Tagged ‘Santa’

Christmas 2015

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

We had a nice family Christmas at home, which is my favorite kind. Santa brought the kids a lot of great stuff plus E and I bought the kids a Disney Infinity so there was plenty to keep everyone busy all day (and hopefully for many many more days).

We walked to the 4:30 family service at our church. Caroline wore one of my Christmas dresses.

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┬áBefore bed we put out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer with a drawing Caroline made and put in an envelope she borrowed from church. Then we sprinkling the lawn with “reindeer food” that Caroline made at school (oats + glitter).

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We open one present each on Christmas Eve.

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And then we tried to get some photos in our matching jams.

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And then after the kids went to bed SANTA CAME!

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And then Christmas was chaos. With bacon and waffles.

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It was a very Star Wars Christmas.

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Caroline is SUPER excited about her first graphic novel.

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Essex Steam Train North Pole Express 2015

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

We did the Essex Steam Train North Pole Express (it’s basically the Polar Express without the trademark) two years ago and it was great. I skipped it last year because we have to buy tickets in August and last August I had a 1 month old and couldn’t get my act together. Plus E was gone that whole summer/fall and I was VERY sure I couldn’t take 3 kids on a magical nighttime train ride alone. But this year I planned to stay home on ticket day and got my fastest fingers ready and bought tickets for the last train on Caroline’s actual birthday day so we could all go. I think next year I’m going to spring for the first-class tickets. They’re a ridiculous amount of money, but I’m not throwing Caroline a big party next year so I feel like we can swing it. Plus I saw one of the elves who host the first class cars and she looked like a legit magical snow queen. Caroline would lose her actual mind.

It is a wonderfully done event full of good cheer – it’s well organized and everyone goes out of their way to make the kids feel special and really believe in Santa magic. The cars are decorated, there are special songs, they give you cookies and hot cocoa, and the whole last 20 minutes is a big dance party where the kids just go crazy in the aisles. All three kids had a blast.

p.s. In case you were wondering, the pajamas are from Hanna Andersson.

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This girl worked at the station and I am not sure if she was an extra elf or a fairy or a snowflake or what, but she chatted with Caroline and it was SO adorable. She told her she peeked at Santa’s list and Caroline was definitely on the nice side. Caroline squealed she was so excited.

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North Pole Express 2013

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Back in August I saw a post go up on Facebook for the Essex Steam Train North Pole Express tickets. They’d only been on sale for like 20 minutes and the page was blowing up with people who couldn’t get on the specific train they wanted because they were already sold out. So I made a snap judgement, crossed my fingers that my husband would get first-half leave, and threw down a bunch of dollars for four tickets.

I would recommend it. Maybe not for a 3 year old, although Caroline loved it, but definitely for kids a little older who still believe in Santa. It was pretty magical, especially when our elf (every train car gets their own elf) found out it was Caroline’s birthday and had everyone sing Happy Birthday to her. I only managed to choke back about 85% of my tears, because magic.

And now here are a bazillion pictures:

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Matching pajamas because I win at parenting

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Snack before we board

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THESE FACES.

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TOTALLY WORTH THE TICKET PRICE

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Looking at the North Pole

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Dancing in the aisles

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I wasn’t sure we were ever going to get Caroline off the train – she LOVED her elf

Merry, merry Christmas to my Christmas-celebrating friends! I hope you all have a lovely holiday full of magic and family and memories and cookies.

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Davis Christmas 2012

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Christmas Eve:

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Christmas Morning:

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Christmas Day:

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We had an amazing holiday, full of food and family and fun. The kids were – and are – insanely spoiled, both with STUFF and attention.

I made Bacon and Hash Brown Egg Bake and Blueberry French Toast Casserole on Christmas Eve to put in the oven in the morning and both were delicious. My plans for an actual Christmas meal were thwarted by total laziness (and maybe my “holiday style” hot cocoa starting at 11 am) and we just turned the ham into sandwiches instead. They were FANTASTIC.

My sister is here to visit for a few days and the kids are already madly in love with her. She brought champagne and chocolate and volunteered to babysit on New Year’s Eve so she can stay forever if she wants. I mean, I know her plan WAS to go to Hawaii for a couple weeks and then move to Paris, but I’m offering a very nice guest room, free food and the chance to hang out with two crazy ginger toddlers as much as she wants so we’ll see. It might be an offer she can’t refuse.

I hope you and your families had a wonderful and relaxing holiday. I’ll be on my couch finishing off this bag of candy Santa “forgot” to put in our stockings and Googling “miracle 48-hour juice fast lose 30 pounds today”.

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Santa Might Be Late. Or Really Early.

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

E has to work on Christmas this year. I realize in the scheme of Ways The Military Can Screw Up Your Holidays having to work on Christmas Day is pretty minor, but it’s the first time this has happened since having kids. (Funny enough, neither of us can remember if it happened BEFORE kids – Maybe once? I know it happened the very first year we were dating but we weren’t spending the holidays together then.)

I’m really glad he’s not deployed. I’m glad it’s only a 24 hour watch. I’m glad we have some family visiting so our day can still be special. But I’m a little stumped on what to do about Santa.

The way our day(s) would go if E didn’t have work is: Christmas Eve service at our church, open one present before bed, wake up at 7 am, open our stockings, open our gifts, make pancakes, eat way too much chocolate, have some sort of Christmasy dinner, get really bored and whiny, fight over new toys, put on fresh jammies (since we’re probably still wearing the ones we woke up in), go to bed.

This year we have three options.

1. Santa comes early. One of us sneaks all the gifts out and fill the stockings while the other loads the kids into the car for church and we open everything before bed on Christmas Eve. The major problem with this plan is getting the kids to GO to bed. They are sooooo tired in the evenings now that they don’t nap and I’d expect at least a couple meltdowns during the gift-opening, followed by major over-tired hyper energy boosts that keep them up until 11 pm. But in the morning they’ll have all the new presents to play with and we can still have pancakes.

2. Santa comes late. The kids can’t read a calendar, they don’t know what day it is. So we go to Christmas Eve service, put them to bed, and when they wake up it’s just a fun Play With Grandma and Grandpa day. I put out the gifts after they go to bed and we have normal Christmas on the 26th. I’ll let the kids open their stockings while we wait for E to get home and then he jumps right in to presents. We can all spend the whole day together, complete with pancakes and Christmas dinner. But on the 25th of December we won’t celebrate anything and I’m not entirely sure that won’t bum me out.

3. Early morning Christmas. E doesn’t actually have to be at work until 9 am (AT work, which means he has to leave here around 8 am) so we could potentially get all the major Christmas activities done before he goes in. We can wake the kids up at 6 am for stockings and presents (if they aren’t already up from excitement). Then the kids can play with their bazillion new toys all day, we can have something casual for lunch, and they can go to bed at the regular time. ALSO maybe possibly after they go to bed I can sneak off to see Les Mis alone, so I can sob my eyes out without judgment. We can do a Christmas ham and all the side dishes on the 26th if I work up enough energy, but I wouldn’t mind terribly if we skipped it for some pizza. The down side is the rush to get everything over with before E goes in to work – do we want to make it a race to open everything as fast as possible?

I realize this is an insanely first world problem – “Oh noes! My kids are getting SO MUCH stuff for Christmas we need HOURS to open it all! We might not get pancakes together! So tragic!” – but I’m trying to figure out how keep Magical Christmas magical for the ginger bebehs.

What would you do for your family? Option 1, option 2 or options 3?

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