Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Decked the Halls and Done with December

I am tuckered out.
I am thrilled the holiday season is over.  Sure, the tree is still lit, but 2012 is OVER. The advent calendar is boxed up and my insane collection of popsicle sticks listing "fun" family activities is tucked away until next December.

If every member of the family hadn't raced through Kleenex boxes and hacking coughs, the season might have been a little merrier.  Sleep does that, I hear. By holly or by jolly, we managed to make some memories, though.

We watched Christmas movies and read special books.  We piled into the car in our pajamas and looked at lights.  We decorated our own house.  On a personal note, I enjoyed my annual Inklings Christmas tea with my writing buddies and ran/walked a 5k with my hubby and friends.

Here are some highlights:

Christmas Parade
My parents parked their truck at a prime location about two hours before the parade began. How awesome are they?! We showed up with McDonald's (don't judge me) and had a picnic right in the bed of their truck as we waited. The kids were joy incarnate.

School Christmas Program
The program is a testimony to the teachers' amazing creativity and patience.  Look at his cute Christmas tree shirt! Each child in that school wore a hand made shirt and sang carols.  Just thinking about the process gives me the urge to wash the inevitable paint out of my hair. Aside from the fact they're wonderful teachers who love our kids, I obviously love those ladies because they create Pinterest crafts with my I don't have to.

Gingerbread House
The grands all visited and--partially against their will--helped Max decorate his first gingerbread house.  My mom (we are so similar) came up with the idea of putting pins in the cookies to make the house stay together. Yeah, um, who needs icing? Let's place an emergency room visit in a baked good. Garrett's mom stuck with Max until the powdered sugar snow fell...everywhere. Grandma Celeste had the good sense to stay out of the mess and just laugh.

The Grands and Max with the gingerbread house

Visit Santa
I'd heard the North Pole can be a nightmare.

But I tried to prepare.

In the past, we visited Santa during the week. This year, the weekend was our only option. I called and asked when Santa arrived. She told me noon. Guess what? We drove the 45 minutes and showed up at 11:30 to wait in line.  Then we were assigned a ticket to return at 1 to wait in line again. We found out the jolly old elf had been accepting visiors since 9 AM.

I almost made the naughty list.

We gave the kids a lunch of cookies. We waited patiently to play with remote control cars.

We camped out at the North Pole until our appointment.  Alexandra even kept a bow in her hair just for the big guy. She was extremely excited to see him....until she wasn't.
In all the chaos of the season,  I managed to get out a few Christmas cards. They looked something like this:
The Barnetts--Keeping the happy in the holidays!
 I'm not sure who I sent the cards, though. I had a list, but then I found another list after they were mailed.  I had some cards left over and can't figure out who I missed. And I may have sent some twice. So, friends, Merry Christmas. You may remember the Christmas Card Picture Debacle of 2011.  I vow to be more organized in 2013.

Oh, who am I kidding?

Cookies for Santa
Max has never seen the movie that made this pose famous. He was simply excited.

 He couldn't wait for the guy to come down the chimney.

Alexandra, on the other hand, was asleep before we set out the fudge and strawberry cookies.

Christmas Day
We hosted 34 family members on Christmas day.  Yes. You read that correctly.  It was a wonderful combination of family from all sides.

I made the dressing I mentioned here. The next day,  I found missing ingredients in the fridge *head thunk*... so I made another tastier batch.   Volunteers contributed to the meal. Because I crave organization and To make the drop-off easier, I even made name tags for everyone to place their food.  This was Garrett's idea of joke:

Throw a Snowball
The next day it snowed enough to delight a preschooler.
Happy New Year!
The four of us rang in 2013 with champagne and sparkling apple juice, silly hats and 7:30 PM. 

I mean, really, it's lucky we lasted that long.


  1. What a busy holiday! And how cool that it's so well documented -- look back at this when you're suffering the oppressive heat of summer. It will make you SMILE!

    (Still laughing at Alexandra's face in that Santa photo.)

    1. I FELT busy, but last night Max interrupted dinner to announce, "OH NO! We forgot to go ice skating!" Yeah. I didn't forget.

      I was laughing when the Santa photo was taken. What does that say about me as a mom?!