Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Christmas Season Family Fun List

The Christmas season is fully upon us and most everything about that makes me so happy.  December is always one of my favorite months, I love the cozy feeling, once-a-year decorations, a plethora of cookies, and plenty of family time. 

But this season also brings a lot of busy, lots of traditions, and plenty to do.  A month ago I posted a list of {6} Christmas Things to Think About Now (then) and one of those items was "Tentative Ideas for Plans".  I started penciling in known celebrations and get togethers in early November (or even early August, in the case of Christmas with my parents, sisters, and families).  If it's not on my calendar by the end of November, it might not happen, or at least isn't a priority.

In that vein, and similar to the summer fun list we did this year, here's our Family Fun List.  I have dates/times set for 90% of these.  A lot of these are our traditions and blocking them in early almost ensures they will get done!

1) Night of Lights

Downtown we have some pretty cool light displays on the side of our biggest buildings and seeing them get lit for the first time is a tradition, when the weather cooperates (last year it was pouring rain and about 35°, we stayed home).  This is one of my favorite times to go downtown every year, even if we have to deal with parking (unlike the summer when we bike) and I often can't feel my toes.  It's still so wonderful and fun and has a great, festive energy.

2) Bake Spritz
My sisters and I have been doing this together every year since before Luke was born.  There are plenty of sprinkle helpers, fewer when it comes to doing the dishes but it's always great fun and great way to knock out a whole lot of cookies together.  We always joke about how we always burn a batch and then usually burn the batch in the oven at that moment.   I'm already sad Luke will be in kindergarten next year and will miss out!

3) Watch The Polar Express and The Miracle on 34th Street with Luke
Last year our church had a great event where they showed The Polar Express in the basement and stopped the movie at the hot chocolate scene to actually serve hot chocolate...which my son then spilled all over the floor.  Everything besides that was pretty nice.  They are doing a different movie this year but I hope to watch both of these while decorating the tree with Luke.  

4) Cut Down Christmas Tree
We've been buying ours at Lowes almost as long as we've been married but now that Luke is older I think we need to go back to the Christmas tree farm and cut one down ourselves (and by that I mean, Matt cut it down himself after I spend too much time debating the perfect tree.  I already know he's just going to love this.).  I have fond (but cold) memories of doing this every year growing up and I want Luke to have similar (cold) memories.  And maybe that'll help it be less dry by the time we take it down in January.

5) Gingerbread Houses with Sisters
This is a new one we already have on the calendar!  One of my sisters suggested and offered to host, 10 kids, lots of frosting and sprinkles (she's brave).  I've never made a gingerbread house, graham cracker (our plan) or otherwise so I'm pretty excited about this.  Matt and Luke are most looking forward to the copious amounts of candy.  So we'll all be happy. 

6) Fantasy of Lights
This is another one I've never done, or at least that I can remember in the last 30 years!  One of our local parks sets up a bunch of light displays and you can drive around and see them all.  We saw them setting them up when we did a hike through the woods at the same park a few weeks ago and that made me extra determined to actually do it this year!  This is the 10% of the list that doesn't have a set date!

7) Have a Date
Well this isn't so much a family fun thing, more of a Mom & Dad fun thing but it's fine.  Our church has a parents' day out in mid-December and since Luke has some cousins who will be working at it and other cousins attending...he's going too!  He doesn't know this but there are cousins so he'll love it.  And since we have guaranteed free babysitting I told Matt we are going on a date.  I am super excited about this.  

8) Have an Advent Wreath
This is a very Catholic tradition yet we've never had one.  I hope to score some properly colored pink and purple candles on sale and at least have a version of it.  The older Luke gets the more important it is to us to instill faith and the real meaning of this season in him.  So hoping this helps at least a little bit.

9) Frost Cookies while Watching Classic TV Specials
We finish up our Christmas baking spree (on my end) with having a family evening of frosting sugar cookies while watching a bunch of classic Christmas tv specials that we recorded forever ago.  Frosty, Charlie Brown, Rudolph.   Luke might eat more frosting than he puts on cookies but it's still a lot of fun, sugar high aside.

10) Eat Chinese on New Years
Ever since we became parents, and therefore boring on New Years, we always pick up Chinese.  We usually have it a few other times during the year too but New Years is a guarantee and is so so good.  I'm already looking forward to it!

Just writing this list makes me so excited for the next month!  What's on your Christmas fun list??

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