We have our Core Crew Christmas on Dec 23rd and then on Christmas Eve we load up and head over to Zach’s parents to begin the Christmas fun!
The last few years Zach has started going golfing with some of the Parker fam on Christmas Eve as a replacement to the Cat Creek Classic football game they used to play in the past. It’s been a great addition to our tradition because it allows the kids and I the morning of the 24th to slow roll everything. They get extra time to play with their new toys and I get the chance to clean up as well as pack up for the night away too!
Our elves always leave on Christmas Eve and they left us a sweet note as well as hid candy canes around the house for the kids to find as a send off. I LOVE the way Britt loves our elves and I hope that Christmas Magic always stays with her.
All the cousins gather at G-Mama’s and have a fun day together. Playing, doing crafts and activities, and just quality together time which is G-Mama’s jam. 🙂 This year Elizabeth and Ella spent the night with their mama but were able to come for the earlier activities!
The kids attempted pop tart gingerbread houses and it was basically a disaster so my tip is to always buy pre-made houses. I was really proud of Kye because his KEPT falling apart. He was frustrated but did NOT give up. He stuck with it. He didn’t “cheat” (even G-Mama busted out the tape to help Tess ha!). His entire house fell apart three times. Literally everyone else quit and went outside to play. But he stuck with it and completed his creation 🙂
The kids also decorated Christmas ornaments and wrote their letters to Santa!
A couple years ago a new tradition emerged where we go outside and have a dance party by the bonfire and eat s’mores and roasted donuts with ice cream. I’m not a mega helicopter parent but yall dancing by a fire stresses me outtttttt so I’m the first to volunteer to take anyone inside who needs to come in. Fire dancing just ain’t my thing. My kids though break it down – especially Tess!
This was a big deal Christmas as it was the last at Big Papa’s and G-Mama’s home of 25 years! Not only was it the last Christmas there but it was actually the last TIME we’d all be there too. Pretty crazy!
After the fire all the kids got showered and ready for bed and Big Papa’s tradition is to track Santa on his iPad with them.
We always bring reindeer food or make it there and then take it outside to feed the reindeer before bedtime. This year the girls slept on the floor in Big Papa and G-Mama’s room and the boys got the bunk room. It was the first year Spear was allowed to sleep with the big boys too!
Once all the kids are down for the night we do the adults gifts. We all open our gifts from Mr. Rusty and Mrs. Charlotte and they open their gifts from each other. It allows us to go at a slower pace and have some adult quality time without the kids being the focus and helps speed things along on Christmas morning too!
But before the kids get tucked into bed they have to end every Christmas Eve night with G-Mama reading The Night Before Christmas!