Christmas this year was a little more calm and homey than usual. But it was nevertheless spread out over the whole month of December, beginning with a weekend with JC’s parents, sisters, and their children.
JC’s oldest sister and her family, along with his other sister’s daughter, joined us for a trip to COSI. The kids loved it so much. This was our second time there in just a few months–and we still didn’t see everything! They want to go back, so we’ll try to route a trip to or from Michigan that way again.
We did presents with everyone, of course. I made cloaks for both of the smallest niblings.
JC got Katie a “cheese cake”–literally a tower made of cheese. It was…interesting.
Kassi and Katie organized some clever decorations for the dinner table, and everyone had to sing “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
I had to leave early for a meeting, but JC and the kids hung around another day or two. And saw Ralph Breaks the Internet without me. The nerve!
We had some fun the following week together–I finally got an advent wreath put together, and the kids helped make birdseed ornaments and string popcorn for our outdoor “bird tree.” I went out later to try to take a picture of the tree, but the birds were hungry! There wasn’t much left. We’ll have to keep this up through the year.
Our big Christmas gift for the kids (besides the second Harry Potter book) was a visit to the Frontier Culture Museum for the lantern tours. It was cold and rainy, but the kids had amazing attitudes about it. They carried the lantern a lot, listened carefully to the different performances, and asked to come again next year. Petra, when I explained that their gift was an experience, said, “Oh good. Memories make good gifts.”
We also went to the “Walk-Through Bethlehem” that a local church stages each year. The kids enjoyed it last year and wanted to go again. Their favorite part was at the end, after doing snacks and crafts in the church’s fellowship hall, when they got to run back out through the quiet, abandoned “Bethlehem” set. They felt like they were in on a secret, like they were seeing behind the scenes.
We were supposed to go to WV to see my dad and JC’s extended family the weekend before Christmas, but Petra got a very bad cold–she kind of scared me, as one night she was wheezing and had a barking cough. She was too miserable to travel, so we spent Christmas quietly at home. We let the kids open some of their presents as a consolation. They were disappointed, but the rest of us caught Petra’s cold, and none of us were fit for company.
One really special gift Silas got was from my dad. It’s a 3D printed model of a character they designed together on HeroForge. Silas designs characters all the time, but we haven’t ever let him get one printed! He was excited and surprised.
At some point, we got kind of stir crazy and we took the kids ice skating. Petra made it around the rink once, declared it boring, and refused to continue.
Silas and I skated for about an hour, and he keeps asking when we can do it again. Petra was so sick and tired and cranky, we shouldn’t have tried it. And after that, we all kind of slept for a couple of days…
On Christmas eve, we went to a beautiful service at our church. I’ve never been to the Christmas eve service because we’re usually traveling. Other than the part when I thought my kids were going to light their hair on fire (and apparently, one of Petra’s classmates actually did!), it was very calm and beautiful. JC had a hard time because of the lighting; we’re not usually at church at night, and it bothered his brain.
On Christmas proper, we went to my mom’s house. Granny, Alex, and Tiara were there as well. Mom was the recipient of one of my favorite gifts that I gave this year: a custom phone decal from Decal Girl (highly recommend). The picture is one from their Harry Potter dinner last year, and the kids helped design it.
We all enjoyed getting to spend some time with everyone, playing games and making food. It was a very quiet sort of Christmas, but enjoyable nevertheless (minus the sniffles).
And now it’s back to normal life, but with more LEGOs. 🙂