Monday, December 26, 2022

Merry Merry

 We had the most delightful couple of days celebrating with our little (ha!) family, but we absolutely missed gathering with extended family. 2 separate groups of people on Ben’s side have the vid, so no NYE plans, either **sad trombone** It’s also the first year that anyone we normally celebrate with is sick on the holidays, and we wish we would have celebrated normally the past couple of years, in retrospect.

Our Elves (plural— FML) on the Shelf brought matching Hanukkah jams this year, and I got ZERO pictures of the fam in them, mainly because Minnie just flat out refused to wear them at all.

And also because we had so much lazy fun, I just didn’t take that many pictures.

Where does one of us stop and the other begin? HARD TO SAY

We spent the 23rd making Santa cookies, which was perfect because Ben had meetings, and he is kind of Grinchy about making cookies (which, I get it— SUCH A MESS).

And not even really appetizing, on the whole
Minnie refused all help and spent like 40 minutes making a not-messing-around dough lump

Dorothy colored the buttercream frosting, and it has never been so vibrant.

I made a much more tame green icing
Elf at work
Seriously, she was SO into this cookie and clearly had a real plan.

I was delighted to find Santa hat sprinkles in my huge sprinkle bottle. Next, year I am buying more and doing at least one batch of festive dinos.

I made my grandpa’s spaghetti sauce and meatball recipe for Christmas Eve, and we spent the whole day just sort of hanging out at home waiting for it to be bedtime—- in a very festive, merry way complete with a toddler kitchen helper and a nap time movie with snacks,

Santa delivers stockings right to the kids’ bedrooms, and this is genius because it buys us time to open our own stockings together and just not have to get out of bed so early. AND! The kids have so much fun showing each other what they got and then laying it all out for us to see, too. Wisely, Santa brought Minnie’s to our room, knowing she comes in to nurse at the crack of 6 am.
Dorothy woke up at 1 am, investigated her stocking, and fell back to sleep until almost 7 when she scampered down to Coop’s room

He was happy to see her:
Harry and Jack spent awhile together opening things and then joined the little kids for some candy and knee hockey while Ben and I had coffee and got our bearings.

Present opening always goes slowly. We go one at a time and pause to delight and also to eat pull apart cinnamon rolls

Harry loved these tennis sunglasses

Coop has been asking for this book every time we have gone to Costco lately
Jack was thrilled to update his wardrobe

Dorothy was her very best elf elf and loved every single gift

Minnie liked these boots so much the would only wear them and nothing else
I LOVED the variety of Ugg boots Ben got me because I needed an update
But the real star was a dresser top coffee maker because sometimes I need a cup of coffee so I can get up and make a better cup of coffee. Hashtag too old to parent a toddler

Ben cooked a HUGE dinner (he wrote Christmas Feast on our weekly menu, and it was)

And we ended the night putting the little kids to bed and playing the games Harry and Jack bought us (with their own money—- so sweet!)

It was a perfect family weekend, and tonight! We are catching the last night of Hanukkah with our traditional sibling gift exchange. It’s a delight to watch the kids pick out such thoughtful gifts for each other, but it is also very logic puzzle-y to figure out how to take them all shopping in a way that avoids taking them with their random-draw sibling or the person who drew their name. Having an extra driver this year might help…


  1. My youngest niece had a pair of pink cowboy boots that basically became her footwear of choice for maybe a year and a half of her life. She would refuse to wear anything else and when they got too small for her, she just refused to let them go. Those little fashionistas just gotta have their boots!

    1. Ha— that’s too funny. Love that she wore them when they were too small

  2. This looks like such a fun celebration - I remain AMAZED at the volume of cookies your family produce. I didn't roll out a single cutout cookie all season!
    A bedroom coffee maker = genius!
    I hope the coming days are lots of fun and restful <3

    1. We really do bake a lot— but I don’t often buy baked goods, so maybe it evens out? (I did Instagram Costco yesterday just because we were out of Minnie’s preferred “tiny cookies” so maybe I buy more than I think…)

  3. That is a bummer that you have extended family members that are sick. There is so much crud going around right now. Miraculously, we were all healthy in December. But Oct/Nov were brutal. Last December was awful. Our toddler had a string of ear infections that resulted in him getting tubes in January and a horrific allergic reaction to amoxicillin. So I was very very happy that we were all healthy and able to celebrate the holiday! Unfortunately my MIL wasn't - she was too sick with a cold to join us so we will celebrate with her next weekend.

    1. So glad you’re immediate family is all healthy, and I DO like that the pandemic has forced people to be more careful about sharing our germs at holidays.

    2. **your** My iPad frequently autocorrects things to make them wrong LOL

  4. Your Christmas looks so fun and coy! We have a lot of similarities... especially the cookie making. We always make cookies for Santa on the 24th, and one other family joins us (they have two daughters around my daughter's age.). Yes, it's messy and the cookies always look terrible! After ten years we still can't remember that red sugar on green frosting looks bad. I have a little hack- I put a cheap Christmas-y tablecoth on the table for the cookie decorating, and when everyone is done I just THROW THE WHOLE THING AWAY. I try to put the frosting in disposable containers as well so I don't have to wash anything. I guess that's a little wasteful, but I don't do it every day- just once a year.
    I love that HUMONGOUS pile of presents under the tree! I guess that's what happens when you have four kids. Anyway, it looks like you had a great Christmas. Now I'm going to read your Hanukkah recap...

    1. The table cloth hack is genius!! I am going to do that next year AND throw one on the island. As I was digging the little $.50 plastic frosting ring holder out of the frosting bag this year I was like WHY don’t I just throw it AWAY? I am also going to do that next year!

  5. Merry belated Christmas. It sounds like you made the best of it, despite not being able to gather with family (it seems like so many people got sick over the holidays, if it wasn't Covid, it was something else).