Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Counting Down to Christmas

This year Eli was very excited about Christmas and all the fun it brings. This year we did a very simple countdown to Christmas. I found a printable on Pinterest, had Eli color it, and then we were ready to go! Every morning he got to add another cotton ball to Santa's beard. It was something he looked forward to each day. 

I outlined Santa with markers and helped Eli cut it out but all the coloring was done by him. I have to say he's getting so much better at coloring! He used to hate it, but now he'll actually try hard to make it look pretty.

Another wonderful Christmas tradition was the arrival of our Elf on the Shelf, Elfis. He arrived early Saturday morning, December 1st. We had our first annual North Pole breakfast complete with candy cane kisses, hot cocoa, waffles, and powdered donuts. We were in sugar heaven! Elfis wrote Eli a letter and told him about all the fun they were going to have this month. Elfis told Eli that he was going to leave him a book every morning for Eli to read that night before bed. He also shared that a lot of the books he was going to leave would be about the real reason we celebrate Christmas-Jesus' birth. I'm so glad that Elfis was there to help remind Eli about Jesus during the Christmas season. 

Elfis the first day he arrived.
He brought Eli a book about Pete the Cat, one of Eli's favorite characters right now!
(By the way, it's a great book because it shares the message that 
Christmas is about giving to and loving each other.)

Early in December, we also got to attend our city's annual Christmas parade. I have to say it was probably the first ever Christmas parade that my child went to in shorts, flip flops, and a t-shirt. It was so hot! He racked up on lots of candy though and had lots of fun seeing all the floats. Mammy, Uncle Clare, and Zue-Zue were all there with us, which made it even more fun for my little guy.

I love all the Christmas movies that come on during the Christmas season and we watch a lot of ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas. The night Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas came on we had a big Grinch celebration. We invited B and Mr. Tim over because it's B's absolute favorite Christmas movie ever, and we had Grinch punch and Grinch cookies during the movie. We even all wore green shirts to get into the Grinch spirit :)

This year Eli not only told Santa Claus what he wanted him to bring, but he also wrote him a letter! We sat at the table one night and I helped spell each word for Eli as he wrote them. I have to say this is pretty good for a kid who just turned 4 :) After he was finished with the letter, he wanted me to draw some pictures around the letter for him to color for Santa. He was so proud!

We never made it to the Post Office when they were open, so we left his letter out for Elfis one night and asked him to deliver it to Santa. The next morning it was gone so Elfis must have done his job!

After Eli wrote his letter to Santa we all had fun decorating our first gingerbread house together. Next year I may actually try making my own, but this year I was perfectly fine doing the store bought pre-baked kind :) All we had to do was assemble, ice, and decorate!

Our completed house

A few days before Christmas, we had a special visitor arrive at our house...Grandpa E! He came to spend Christmas with us this year and we had lots of fun with him, especially Eli. We had lots of activities planned for him while he was with us and one of those was decorating Christmas trees out of sugar cones. All the boys really got into it :)

Eli discovered the icing tasted particularly good :)

Eli chose to eat his tree, but the rest of us contributed them to the gingerbread house. I think they added just the right touch!

Quite possibly one of my favorite things about Christmas is receiving Christmas cards. I remember growing up it was always my mom's job to open any Christmas cards. Now that I'm a mom, I've made that a rule, too :) I LOVE getting to see all our family and friends and how their families are growing each year. I know many people aren't sending out Christmas cards anymore, but we did this year and will probably continue. It's something I really enjoy doing and really enjoy receiving!

All the Christmas cards we received this year
I almost ran out of room on my Christmas card holder!

Here is the card we sent out to all our family and friends this year.

I hope that all your days leading up to Christmas were very merry and filled with lots of love and laughter just like ours were!

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