Pre-Christmas Activities 2019

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Pre-Christmas Activities 2019

This year was SO magical with the holiday season.

I kept joking that Christmas Spirit Zach is my FAVORITE Zach but really he was ON IT and made things SO fun this year!

A lot of the time the holiday season means rushing and stress but this year I truly soaked it all IN and loved every minute!

Like most families we do a TON of pre-Christmas activities and traditions and this year was no different.

I try to take the kids as early as I can to choose their new Christmas ornament for their trees in their bedrooms and we went in mid-November this year to Target.

They had great success in choosing ones they really liked and Spear was SO cute about his “car” he kept saying “car car” and even once we had his tree in his room he’d point to it when I tucked him in. He LOVES his car ornament!

We celebrated Spear’s birthday early (which I LOVED) and started decorating for Christmas as soon as his party ended.

We had one day between Spear’s party and heading to Disney and we knocked out almost ALL the decorating and our decorating traditions in that one day.

Although I am still so sad about not being able to cut down our own Christmas tree…having a fake one does make the process quicker πŸ˜‰

We got our Disney village set up after the party and then set up the tree so Spear could help a little bit before his nap after church the next morning.

I love going through our ornaments each year and talking about our memories together.

Kye was really into it this year and had the idea of putting the ornaments on the tree in chronological order. It was a CLUSTER so we ended up not doing it but I promised him that next year we could be better organized.

I just love that my pre-teen boy still has opinions about our Christmas tree and is still into it.

I think it’s important to follow his lead on some stuff like this in order to KEEP him into it!

Spear did great for the like two ornaments we let him do and then he was excited to see the finished product after he got up from nap.

After we got the tree decorated we did our yearly tradition of watching a Christmas movie together and drinking hot chocolate!

A perk of being a big kid for Kye is that he gets to drink out of a legit mug now πŸ˜‰

And Zach and I totally fell asleep during the movie but as soon as it ended BOOM I was hopping back up to keep the decorating going!

We also received the game Just Dance for an IG campaign so the kids played that a bit during a decorating break…they LOVED the game and I loved seeing them laugh together!

Our snowman struggled to stay up on the porch so he got to come live inside!

After we got back from Disney Tess had her first field trip and it was to meet Santa!

Totally shocked me the school system would be cool with a Santa visit but it was also THE best field trip.

Super quick, super short, super easy, super fun for the kids. It was a perfect first field trip and I was SUPER proud that Tessie did great getting back on the bus to head back to school. No tears!

The kids had dress up days throughout the ENTIRE MONTH of December!

Although it’s a pain, this year they sent home a calendar thing for each kid. SO I put Tess’s on the fridge and Kye’s and Britt’s in their rooms. It made it SO much easier to keep track of which days were dress up days and what the themes were.

The kids are all old enough to be hands on in choosing items and I do appreciate that none of the festive days were tricky or required buying stuff!

I also got a ton of stuff last year after Christmas at Target and it all came in handy – I loved having some tacky themed sweaters for myself too and cute dresses for church for the girls!

Along with school stuff…Kye and Britt were both in a school performance this year.

I remembered seeing Kye in a Christmas thing a few years ago and assumed this would be the same sort of thing.

Britt was SO nervous about it and constantly talking about it and how nervous she was etc.

Kye barely ever brought it up at all.

And then? When I got to the show I realized only a handful of fifth graders were IN the production and they were like LEGIT ACTING.

Kye had a pretty major part and never even said he was nervous or anything!

Britt was part of the choir but lucked out and was in the front row so I could see her pretty well and she was adorable as one of the only kids who had planned out some hand motions to go with the songs.

The entire production was ADORABLE and I enjoyed it so much and was SO PROUD of how awesome the kids did!

They both LOVED being part of it and I will mention doing a theater camp or something this summer in case it’s something they are interested in.

A video should auto play in this post showing off their songs and Kye’s speaking parts πŸ™‚

My FAV pic of them!!!

Speaking of performing, the kids also all sang in a little Christmas song performance at our church Christmas party.

I didn’t know until after but it was Kye’s last time participating as next year he will be part of the youth group – I’m not even ready for that!

Tess was pretty adorable and loved participating. They all did great and it was cute and they even got to meet Santa!

This month I hosted Book Club at our house and it was so fun!

We all wore tacky sweaters, brought a gift to swap, and a dish.

We had a great time and I def wanna host more events in the coming year! I miss hosting (kid #4 killed my hosting vibes haha).

I loved getting out my Christmas china to use for the event and we got a new welcome mat too (I’m tossing Christmas decor that I no longer LOVE and our doormat was one of the things that had to GO!)

Every year we have a few must-do traditions as a family and this year it was SO NICE having the FULL month of December to enjoy them all!

You can read about our traditions here πŸ™‚

I realized why I felt so chill and relaxed this year…it’s because I didn’t host a December birthday party!

First year in 8 years not having a party (or a new baby) in December! Whoop whoop!

So glad we moved Spear’s up and we’re def doing it again next year πŸ˜‰

Every year we go shopping at Target and split up to buy gifts for each other.

We usually go to the dollar store the same night and do our stockings AND go look at Christmas lights after that.

But this year we decided to just split all three activities up and did them all on different nights and it worked out just fine!

I was VERY proud of ALL the kids during our Target outing.

They were very serious about the gifts they chose for our family and did a great job in working together and making thoughtful decisions.

Even Spear had a fun time and everyone was truly in the Christmas spirit which made it an extra fun outing!

We went another night to our annual dollar store outing.

At the dollar store we split up and buy a secret santa stocking gift for each other. This year I was smart and brought totes from home so we couldn’t see what anyone was buying for each of us!

While at the dollar store we also have a tradition of blessing others.

Our church did a year of giving several years ago and we have carried on this tradition ourselves by including a note about Jesus with a $20 bill in an envelop.

The kids get a couple each and get to decide who they want to bless with the gift. They just go up to a stranger and say “Merry Christmas” and hand it to them and that’s it!

It’s always so fun for us all and it’s a gift to us to see the joy on someone else’s face when they open their envelope (although we do need to use blank ones b/c I think the Aflac stamp on them throws people off haha!).

A new tradition we started last year is going to see Santa and participate in fun activities at a local credit union.

It’s a FABULOUS event and was great again this year but I was super bummed at the professional images.

Last year they had free professional photos with Santa and our pics were AMMMMMAZING and this year the professional ones were not good at alllll. Super bad quality images which was a bummer b/c I totally didn’t get good pics myself because I assumed the ones they took would be great again!

It made me even more sad b/c Spear actually SAT WITH SANTA! I hate I don’t have better pics of it but it was still a super fun afternoon and SUCH a well ran event.

Here local events tend to be insane and we rarely attend any due to how crazy they get but this one is super, super well done.

Along with Santa and Mrs Claus they have reindeer food, cookie decorating, crafts, activities, games, popcorn and cocoa!

After we finished up we went to eat dinner at a Mexican restaurant and the kids all did great.

We are really starting to be able to see the light at the end of the baby tunnel – it’s getting easier and easier and more FUN!

We ate and then went to see the Christmas lights.

Every year we drive by a house that has themed lights that light up to music and then a neighborhood where every house has these HUGE Christmas cards – it’s so fun!

I was very proud of myself this year…

I didn’t go to a SINGLE class Christmas party.

Which is huge personal growth for me. I know that sounds silly but I always get this worry that if I don’t do ALL THE THINGS that my kids won’t know how much I love them and that they, in return, won’t love me.

And yes, it took therapy for me to figure that out about myself haha I’m not THAT good at self reflection on my own πŸ˜‰

So I have learned that my kids KNOW I love them. I don’t need to do ALL THE THINGS in order for them to know that.

And I’ve also learned that THEY LOVE ME and WILL love me even without me doing ALL THE THINGS.

So when Kye’s class allowed electronics to come to school for his party I was like “um pass.” I’m not going to get childcare for Spear to go up to the school and watch him play on his iPad. #nothanks.

And then the girls parties were at bad times where they’d interrupt Spear’s nap so I just didn’t go.

And guess what? NONE OF THEM EVEN NOTICED.

Not one kid asked me why I wasn’t there or said they missed me. Not. One. Even Tess my hardcore clinger.

A mom did send me this pic of Kye with some of his buddies and the girls said they watched movies during their parties so I def didn’t miss out!

I didn’t even go to Spear’s party – although that was not intentional. I had a dr appointment and thought I’d get out in plenty of time but instead I completely missed it…and he was like literally the only kids at school. Oops.

Mema has a get together every year to celebrate Christmas and the kids love getting to see all the cousins on that side of the family and it’s so cute watching them all together!

We continued our tradition with Kye in watching Elf and having a wrap gifts party.

Here’s my post about how to keep the Christmas spirit alive with older kids πŸ™‚

Zach and I only took three nights I think to wrap all our gifts this year! A perk of cutting back πŸ˜‰

The kids were all SO excited to be out on Christmas break and I love how into it they all were πŸ™‚

Tessie came home saying she wanted to make her special recipe of hot chocolate for everyone (hot chocolate, marshmallows, whipped cream, sprinkles and candy cane).

Their last day is always a half day so they had their cocoa, some cookies and watched a Christmas movie to truly get in the spirit.

Kye also surprised us all the next day by putting together a holiday themed lunch where he set the table, decorated, made lunch for everyone and even did some pre-lunch dancing haha

We watched Noelle as a family on Disney + and it was super cute – especially how everyone was asking for IPads since two of our kids were asking for one from Santa πŸ˜‰

Check out our adorable Baby Yoda ornament too…a local girl made them and sold them!

My sweet Britt always wants to be hands on in the kitchen with me and this year she got to help make our special Christmas cookies.

My mom made them every year growing up and one of my favorite traditions was getting to decorate (and eat!) them every year.

I love getting to have this experience with MY daughter and hope I help create a memory with her that she’ll want to continue on with her children too.

We also always bake Daddy’s fav cookies for Christmas too! We eat on them all through Christmas break and into the New Year πŸ˜‰

My favorite thing leading up to Christmas is the excitement and anticipation.

I love wrapping our gifts and putting them under the tree with all the little hints and inside jokes on the tags.

The kids are so cute reading through them all and getting excited!

Kye was funny this year…he mostly wanted video games so I wrapped the games in different sizes of boxes to throw him off.

I also whispered loudly to Britt that we got Kye a BIG STUFFED…so he thought he was getting a stuffed animal.

He was nervous going into Christmas but then Grandpa and Grammie’s gifts arrived and he had a HUGE sigh of relief when he saw a video game shaped package πŸ˜‰

Even Spear was into the Christmas spirit. He never tried to open gifts but loved rearranging them under the tree!

I never wanted the Christmas season to end this year. I loved it all and it was just SUCH a joyful season for our family.

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Emily Parker

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

You can read more about our family on my About Me page. Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, FacebookΒ and Pinterest!

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