We were so lucky to get some extra tickets to the Polar Express with my brother and his family. We really owe Linda Wallace, my sister-in-law's mom. It was so fun to see the cousins and relive the Polar Express beyond the movie.
The chefs really did balance the hot chocolate on their head and bring in huge cookies all while energetically singing and dancing. They even managed to drag Bug and Pumpkin out of their seats to join in the revelries.
Santa handed out bells with ribbons to everyone which is the shining blur in the picture below. I must say that Santa has had a lot of experience with the latest tech. He was rather expert at taking a selfie with us!
Wish the lighting were better and the pictures were clearer but we have the memories!
Christmas day is always a joy as you watch the kids eyes light up. Bubby doesnt' get the fuss so as long as we got him his bread first thing we were free
With our reading of Harry Potter these Bertie Botts beans were one of their favorite gifts. Bud was cautious and Bug was adventurous so of course he had her test out the odd flavors. Eventually they had to separate the good beans from the others and have been tricking everyone else to eat them for a laugh!
I spent the weeks before Christmas sewing like a mad woman after the kids went to bed. We ordered beads to make weighted blankets for everyone since they help with ADHD, anxiety and autism. Bubby even got a Dory fish where I added extra beads for a nice weight.
We finally roped Bubby into opening a gift and when he discovered it was cookies he was all over the gift unwrapping.
Check out his focus!
Bug carefully selected a gift at the dollar store for Bud. She had lots of candy options for him but she really knows what he would find fun, even if it's at the expense of her sanity. When she saw this 'toy' she said, "He'd love it, he'll use it to annoy me and pinch me!" and sure enough that was the first thing he did when he unwrapped it!
Back in November we watched a documentary that talked about where most of the products that Americans consume are made. We learned that often the cheap prices we look for come at the cost of the workers, both in their wages and conditions. Minimalism has also become our thing so most of the gifts they opened were treats. We voted as a family to spend our money on experiences rather than things so Kent and I planned 4 vacations for 2017. While I was busy sewing Kent had the creativity to create these poems and wrap up clues to where we will be going.
This is the petrified forest with a side trip to Snowflake to visit friends and play in the snow.
Carlsbad Caverns, rock and minerals being a huge passion for Bud.
Salt Lake City scheduled for October.
Carlsbad CA and LEGOLAND scheduled for April.
It was fun to read the poems, use the clues to guess all while snuggling under the weighted blankets.
This year the oldest two graduated on to becoming 'Santa's' in training. So while we had fun opening our own gifts we also took the time to carefully shop for things for a family we thought could use the extra cheer. In the process we came across a young married couple recently from Romania who was trying to earn a few dollar playing the violin on a street corner. Bug and I went through our stuff and compiled as much as we could for them, their son and soon to be newborn. It was one of the biggest highlights of my holiday to see the generosity of heart growing in their young souls. It was really the best gift they gave me this holiday and one I hope to see year after year. Merry Christmas one and all and may the spirit of the season be there all year!