We opted for a stay-cation this year! We had actually tentatively planned to drive to Las Vegas to spend Christmas with my family but decided not to after all and now I'm glad (sorry mom and dad). One reason: William. The boy does not travel well. He gets angry really easily when you don't acknowledge correctly what he's saying to you and in the car it's particularly difficult since you can't see what he's pointing at. Maybe next year.
Chopper took the whole week off of work anyway and it has been so nice to have him home full time. It means that I get a vacation too!! We've done some fun Christmas activities this week.
We started the week with a visit to see the lights at Little Elm Park's Santaland (yes it's backwards on the sign and yes Megan is hiding behind Chopper) and their elves village and then Christmas caroling with friends.
On Tuesday it was a trip to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa and ALL their time tickets were gone so we peeked at him from the side but didn't visit -- which was fine with Megan. She didn't want to talk to him anyway although she was very concerned that I talk to him and tell him what she wants!
But we did ride the reindeer carousel.
William picked the one with the gimpy leg.
Today we went to visit Aaron's grave. That was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I would have liked to have spent a little more time but it's cold today with a biting Texas wind and William thinks that rows of headstones equals an obstacle course so we took flowers and said a prayer and left.
It's been a really emotional holiday -- it's the best time of the year and the kids are excited and everything is great -- except for not having Aaron here. But celebrating the birth of Christ and having faith in his Atonement and Resurrection is what will give him back to me. It's just been hard.
This evening was fun though. Taco dinner to remember Chopper's dad, cookies and tacos and carrots left for the reindeer ready on the fireplace.
All the stockings hung in a row including Aaron's. I don't know if I ever put this on the blog but towards the beginning of the season Megan was very concerned about how Santa would know that Aaron is not with us. We talked a lot about how it's the same way that he knows if they've been bad or good. To which she graciously replied, "well if Santa forgets and puts things in his stocking, then I'll just take them for him." Can't argue with that logic!!
Afterwards we spread reindeer food outside (oatmeal mixed with glitter so that it shines in the moonlight and the reindeer can see where to land -- super cute thing from Megan's teacher) and came inside for the Nativity story.
Growing up we always acted it out but so far that hasn't really worked well for us. What was awesome this year were sticker scenes from Oriental Trading. My mom got them last year for the kids for our family Christmas and I kept the leftovers. I read the story directly from Luke 2 and Matthew 2 and the girls put the stickers on the page as they heard each piece of the story. It was the BEST that they have ever listened to that much scripture reading so I have a feeling that we'll be keeping this or something similar as a tradition for a long time!
We watched Joy to the World afterwards which still runs a little long for their attention and then they were asking to go to bed! It helps that Chopper has an app on his phone for tracking Santa and it shows that he is now on the East coast so they were pretty intent on getting to sleep and haven't been out of their rooms yet (fingers still crossed)!! They are so excited for the morning and Chopper and I are picking up big time on their enthusiasm. It's going to be a great Christmas!