There are so many great memories from this year's holiday season. Isabel loved the Christmas tree -- but it was hard to keep her from tearing it apart every day in excitement (especially those beads - they looked too much like her necklaces!) This was the first year our Elf on the Shelf came to visit, and Evalee enjoyed finding "Eek" every morning and giving him a lecture about the shenanigans he pulled the night before. Santa came to the Quad Cities toward the beginning of December, and we had a fantastic time visiting him, making some crafts, and jumping in a bounce house they had set up for the kids.
Evalee was all about making cookies this Christmas. I can't even tell you how many batches we made, both at home and at Grandma's house. We took buckets of cookies to our neighbors -- Bill and Stacey and Ralph and Cindy, and that might have been her favorite thing we did all season. They are fantastic neighbors and are so thoughtful all year round. I did most of my shopping online again this year, thank goodness, but there were a lot of late nights where I was cruising between websites trying to decide on just the right gifts for my babies and family members.
We watched How The Grinch Stole Christmas almost daily, and on top of that read the book before bed. I can't say as though I was ever annoyed, however, because I love both the movie and the book. Isabel wasn't all that interested in Christmas movies this year, but I am sure things will change by next Christmas.
On their last day of daycare before Christmas break, Santa Claus even made a surprise visit to Mary's house! Eva was so stoked to get her toaster and add it to her kitchen in her room, and Isabel served us tea from her new tea set the whole night. It was sure thoughtful of Santa to stop by, even if the one-year-olds were a little thrown off their game. :)
I tried to make a conscious effort to slow down this year - to stop and smell the evergreen. I know you only get so many of these magical Christmas seasons with little ones, and I wanted to relish in it. It's hard when it's a chaotic time of year at work with finals and all sorts of things, but I still found ways to soak it in. Even when crafts didn't quite go right or Isabel got too tired too quickly for plans to follow through as we hoped, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that these are the memories we have instead. And I know I will still cherish them.
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