I took almost the whole month of November of from blogging. It wasn't intentional, but we had 3 visitors and some traveling of our own plus Thanksgiving. I want to post on all of that (and I will), but I can't pass up a good opportunity to make a list...
So 5 on Friday it is! This week we are all about Christmas in the Evans house. I'm going to share 5 Christmas traditions that we are starting and/or continuing this year!
O N E
I feel like this is a pretty common tradition, at least in the South, and one I grew up with. But this is really our first year with this tradition.
In my family, we always got our pjs on Christmas Eve; it was the one present we were allowed to open. But since I chose very specific Christmas themed pajamas for the boys this year, I thought it might be fun to give them to the boys on December 1st, along with a Christmas DVD.
Jack was SO excited. I'm going to be real with y'all--Jack put those pj's on as soon as he got home from MOPS that day (I let him open them in the morning), wore them that afternoon and night, wore real clothes that next morning for school, and then changed right back into them at lunchtime. I call that a success.
My boys watching "Charlie Brown Christmas."
Please note, there are tennis shoes on Gil's feet. That would be because he wore those pj's out in public. No shame here.
T W O
Last year I bought Ann Voskamp's Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. Life with two little boys was MORE than a little crazy and the book was a little over Jack's head, so we didn't do it.
This year we are giving the book a try. It is a Jesse Tree style family devotional. The readings are a little flowery, but not too long. I think Jack is enjoying it so far.
I also got a crazy idea to buy a felt pattern pdf for Jesse on November 30th. I am slowly working my way through these ornaments. I want to have them all done before the whole season is over! As of last night (the 3rd), I had made 5--not too shabby. They won't turn out perfect, but I think it will be really fun in the years to come to use the ornaments each advent season.
Here's a picture of the first felt ornament. The one I'm working on today is proving extra hard (Joseph and his coat of many colors)...let's hope it turns out okay!
T H R E E
We've been driving around and looking at Christmas lights with Jack since he was one. I absolutely adore Christmas lights, and so does Jack. In another week or so, we will put the boys in the car in their pj's with some hot cocoa (and warmed milk for Gil) and take in the pretty lights.
This year, we added a new element by going to Church Street (a cobblestone couple of blocks in downtown Burlington) for the annual tree lighting.
Of course, this picture is not from this year. We have only seen a few snow flakes, and none on the ground yet! Where is my White Christmas???
F O U R
My mom always makes the yummiest food at Christmas. I love getting in the kitchen with her and learning how to make all of the favorites. We have already decorated sugar cookies and made homemade marshmallows, but I plan on making toffee (my mom makes the BEST toffee! I am very nervous, though, because the one time she let me be in charge, I burned it), peppermint bark, sunshine crakers, chex mix, and cookies.
Jack loves to be in the kitchen. Anytime I pull my mixer out, he jumps up and yells, "Let me help." Honestly, it's more stressful than helpful at this point, but I am trying to be patient and enjoy the time with him.
F I V E
Christmas Music and Movies
I know this one is pretty common, but we are soaking up all the Christmas music and movies we can!
Jack is a big fan of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and my favorites are White Christmas (there's a reason we live up here!) and Love Actually. Bech wouldn't claim a Christmas movie favorite, but he gets really into any Christmas movie I play. I love to watch the ABC Family and Lifetime Christmas movies (Netflix has tons!).
As far as music goes, I've got the Pandora playing "Dave Barnes Holiday" at home and Sleeping at Last's Christmas Album on repeat in my car. I found Sleeping at Last on Noise Trade a couple of years ago and I just love them.
This is my favorite song, "Snow."
So that's what we're doing this Christmas season in the Evans' house! Have a wonderful weekend. I'll be burning my Balsam Fir candle and wishing for snow.