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A couple years ago Zach and I started a new tradition. Ever year we spend the night at Mrs. Charlotte and Mr. Rusty’s house on Dec 24th so we don’t get any actual Christmas celebration at our own home with just our little family. I LOVE LOVE LOVE having OUR day as Dec 23rd!!! It’s my favorite day of the holiday season. Sure, I love Christmas morning (who doesn’t?) but for me this is my most special time 🙂 It means a lot to me that Zach is so on board with this because it is a day that’s for me more than anyone else and that makes it even more meaningful that he’s so supportive and all about it!
I am linking SEVERAL videos from my IG Stories from the day throughout this post 🙂
We kick things off the evening of the 22nd. This year I made a family favorite of ours for dinner (it’s a more time consuming dish so I don’t make it often!)
Hermey and Snowflake (our elves on the shelf) brought the kids special elf pjs so they wore them that night!
They even brought some for Samantha!
Blue Bear is Kye’s bff
After dinner and baths we load up in the car and go look at Christmas lights. We live near a HUGE neighborhood so we let the kids unbuckle (which is more exciting to them than the actual lights) as we drive around. There weren’t many lights out this year? Which we couldn’t complain b/c this was the first year in my entire LIFE that there weren’t Christmas lights on our house either.
We tucked Tess into bed and then the big kids and parents got cookies and milk as we discussed some of the questions from our CFA breakfast that morning!
Britt is the Mistletoe Queen. She loves giving out some kisses!
The next morning we treat it like Christmas morning and the kids line up in the hall and then come out. It was nice this year having a plan of which 5 gifts I wanted each kid to open! I tried to be strategic 😉
My mom always had a “pickle present” when I was a kid and I love continuing the tradition! I do make sure the present is one that ALL the kids can enjoy together 😉
BIG YEAR in our house b/c BRITT FOUND IT!!!
2016 was the year that sickness reigned supreme. Poor Tess. She was sick at Disney and then she had this spot on her lip that I thought was just a little bump from dryness or something and THEN I worried it was a fever blister. She didn’t have any other symptoms (never even had a temp) but did seem to have some discomfort. Well later that day BRITT broke out with a 102 temp. I also checked all over Tess’s body and sure enough, spots on her hands and feet. Hello Hand Foot Mouth. Just in time for Christmas!
Kye was so sweet at his book fair at school and bought each of the girls a book!
When I was getting Christmas deals I thought it’d be fun to surprise Zach and get us each onesies to wear for Christmas 😉
The kids each opened 5 gifts from us, the gift we all got for each other, Zach and I opened our gifts from each other and we all opened the gifts my dad and Audrey sent! It was a pretty good stash of stuff!
SO pumped for a massage from Dad and Audrey (and you can kinda see the little jar in the back? Oh my goodness THE most amazing body scrub!!!)
SUPER thoughtful gifts for Zach too including a really cool FSU cooling towel
Daddy’s gift from the kids!
Funniest gift of all! It is this little table top thing for your car and Zach could NOT figure out what it was!
BIG GIFT!!!! I worked REALLY hard to find it and was SO pumped that he liked it so much!
My gift from Zach…clues that took me less than 10 seconds to figure out. A massage and getting the house cleaned 😉
Waiting so patiently for Daddy to get her gift out of the package!
Big gift for Kye was a new camera. I was also super pumped about this!
LOVE that smile!!!
Kye and Tess got Britt a new outfit for Samantha 🙂
Cotton Candy Lovers!
Attempts at a family pic 🙂
Grandpa and Grammie sent Britt a Frozen Read-Along Story and she listened to it on repeat all day. Like over 6 times haha
Daddy loves to make a feast…and we all love to eat it 😉
Finishing up the frosting for the Christmas cookie decorating (my little baker is always helping!)
This was Tess’s first year decorating and she was so into it! I love that little tongue sticking out in concentration!
I always set aside a little bit of dough for each child (and myself, duh) to eat. My favorite part of the cookie making growing up was the dough! My mom would always save some for me so I am passing it along (and nope, not once in my LIFE did the raw eggs ever make me sick!)
Enjoying my Skittles candle that Kye got me from his school store 😉
Naptime = Nintendo time!
On top of all the kids sickness I also had to pick up some special meds for me (due to a reaction from the antibiotics I was on for my face). So I just went out in public in my onesie. If the hood is up you’re good right?
I LOVE a lazy pj day where everyone is having FUN!
We always get to choose ONE cookie to eat!
The pickle present was a HUGE Jenga! Cool idea…except for the pieces are solid wood. As in when that beast falls over look out b/c those blocks HURT.
Making reindeer food!
(literally THE easiest holiday activity ever!)
We make a bag for each cousin 🙂
Writing our letter to Santa
The whole day was awesome. Even Britt pushed through with her fever and Tess wasn’t too miserable with her spots. But my favorite part of the day? Was at dinner. We were sitting there talking and out of NO WHERE Tess brought up Disney. Like completely on her own without prompting. It’d been about a month since our trip and she remembered specific details and talked about her favorite things. She talked about the Lion King show at Animal Kingdom, Dumbo, meeting Elsa, and seeing the animals. She literally talked for a solid 20 min or so about it. Which Tess talking for any length of time is a big deal (poor kid never gets a word in with all of us talkers) and just hearing her talk about things that SHE enjoyed made my heart SO happy. To know she did really love it and had a fun time and that those memories stuck with her was worth it all!
We had a movie night and watched the gift that Kye and Britt got Tess!
And we had treats too, duh 😉
From start to finish it was THE most special day. Our family had been through a lot leading up to the holidays and having that day set aside to just enjoy each other was exactly what we needed. We all had a blast and made memories that I know we will sit around and talk about with our grandchildren someday! So thankful that God blessed me with my husband and that he gave us our children. Excited and hopeful that next year we will have our family COMPLETE!