Sunday, January 5, 2014

25 Days of Christmas

Back to blogging after a short break. Work got REAL busy and my spare time was spent making sure the house was clean, laundry was done and presents were purchased AND wrapped. While I'm not one to complain, and would absolutely prefer being busy, I will look forward to a slower January. And so far, 4 days in, it's been just the kind of January I'd hoped for.

Today, the girls and I were talking about our tradition of the 25 Days of Christmas and whether we should keep this tradition alive. With a resounding YES, I got my answer. So, I'm recapping 2013 - mostly so I can access this list for developing next year's, in case I lose my paper list. I know....who keeps PAPER lists. I do, that's who. And I love keeping lists on paper so I can physically check off what I've done and keep motivated. But I am also prone to losing here I go electronically.

1 - antique ornament shopping. It's been a tradition for each of us girls to buy one old ornament, generally from Flower Child in Lakewood. We especially love those old Star Brite ornaments from the 1950s and 60s.

2 - a handful of mini Reese cups. When Bridget was almost 2, I had these on Day 2. She's always referred to the small Reese cups as "2s" and so I've made sure this continues on Day 2.

3 - a cup of hot cocoa for Bridget and Starbucks K-cup for Megan. I was able to pre-package Meg's first 13 days for her trip back to college so she wouldn't miss a single day.

4 - Write a letter to Santa. You must believe, you know, if you want presents on Christmas morning.

5 - Reese tree. I must have looked like a stalker mom while B ate hers...and I think I was salivating as much as my black lab.

6 - Family movie night. Funny story. We have been in the habit of going to El Carnicero in Lakewood on Friday nights. Because Friday was Family Movie Night, we switched our El Carnicero trip to Saturday. We ran into Eric Williams and B told him how much she loved his restaurant, and especially his rice. She said she would have been here Friday night, but that was Family Movie Night. He was so cool and asked her which movie she watched, to which she responded Elf. He began quoting from the movie and she really loved that.

7 - Holiday socks. I found some cool socks at Joann Fabrics for just $1. These are Meg's absolute favorite things to receive during the holidays!

8 - Wreath making kit. This cost less than $5 for each of the girls. I bought flannel fabric on clearance on bright green, cut them into strips, bought a wreath frame and a roll of ribbon, then stuffed everything into a baggie as a "kit". Easy to do and lots of fun.

9 - Make paper snowflakes. Just costs you a few pieces of paper and you have some stunning holiday artwork!

10 - Christmas book for B (Pinkalicious Christmas) and magazine for Meg (starring Lauren Conrad, just love her!).

11 - Girls interviewing each other. They've been doing this the last 3 years and I love the results. I'll post it soon.

12 - Santa bubble gum tape. Meg has been getting this since she was 4 years old.

13 - Family movie night and Angelo's pizza to-go. Mmmmm!

14 - Wicked at Playhouse Square. We got to dress up and introduce Bridget to her first musical at Playhouse Square!

15 - Pick out a real tree, chop it down and decorate. This year was Greg's turn to pick out a tree. B was so upset over how Charlie Brown-like the tree was that he selected that she said he wasn't allowed to pick EVER again!

16 - String popcorn garland. This was a bust because I had to work late and we didn't get off to a good (or early) enough start. Note to self: do this on a weekend, not week day!

17 - Donate one toy or book. This is an important part of the 25Days.

18 - Make candy cane milkshakes. Yum!

19 - Make a tree skirt. I found one at Joann Fabric on clearance for $7.99. Meg read the directions wrong and, well, the tree skirt is now just excess flannel fabric. Oops!

20 - Family Night at the Cleveland Orchestra. This was an amazing evening of Christmas songs. In such a politically correct world, it is nice to have an evening of Christmas carols and fun!

21 - Make a gingerbread house. I swear you need a background in Architecture or have some construction experience. I bought the kit at Target for $9.99 and this was one tough assignment!

22 - Afternoon Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz Carlton. I've been wanting to do this for the past 3 years, but have called for reservations too late. While this was a pretty pricey activity (and won't be repeated next year), it was absolutely wonderful. B truly enjoyed herself and Meg loved all the tea sandwiches. We got to dress up, enjoy tea and tiny sandwiches, and enjoy our time at one of Cleveland's nicest hotels.

23 - Drive around and look at all the beautiful Christmas lights. This is always one of my favorite activities!

24 - Christmas Pajamas and read Twas the Night Before Christmas. Time to wait for Santa.

25 - Santa, presents, my traditional breakfast strata and some wonderful family time!

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