Christmas at home was so worth it and so stress free. I was hesitant to stay home initially. I love being back in Chicago and of course being around family is nice. I know my girls would have loved to be around their grandparents and cousins. We looked at flight information but everything was pricey. I couldn't bring myself to spend close to 1,000 dollars to fly us all out there and basically be stuck in the house most of the week because of the bitter cold. Adeline is still so young and I didn't want to risk her getting sick so we decided to stay home.
Our Ward put together an amazing Christmas party. It was themed the Polar Express and the committee went all out. The decor was perfect and the girls really loved the train. We sat the girls with Santa and they were talking off his ear. I asked Arizona what she asked him for and she couldn't remember. Daniel and I decided that we weren't going to do Santa- sort of. We would do all the big present from us and the stocking stuffers from Santa. I think that's a good balance and not necessarily giving Sanat all the credit right?
I've never had a child cry with Santa and I'm kind of feeling like I'm not getting the full parent experience. Maybe next year with Adeline....
Daniel took Brielle on a daddy daughter date to see the lights at Vitruvian Park. From what he said she really loved it and ran from tree to tree. It was a really warm day so they had a lot of fun without the worry of cold hands and feet.
Arizona had a wonderful year in her sunbeams class at church. She loved her teachers and they always had such fun crafts she brought home each Sunday. This one in particular was right up her alley. She is always so mindful of others peoples feelings and each day leading up to Christmas she needed to do something good then pull off a ring. Each day she thought hard about what she wanted to do. She noticed I was feeling overwhelmed one day and made me a card and placed it on my pillow. I thought it was so sweet. She told me she was scared to start her new class- CTR 4 come the new year but this last Sunday she said she really liked her teacher and all of her friends are still with her so that's great.
My loot at Target- Christmas presents for the girls.
We went to look at Chrismtas lights one evening and found this house that was completely decked out. Their garage was created to look like Santa's workshop with all the moving parts of a train and Santa. It was really well done. Christmas music was playing too. The owners did a really good job of decorating.
Baking sugar cookies and decorating them with the sister missionaries. This was my first time making sugar cookies and it was a lot of fun especially with Arizona. When we finished decorating them- the girls and I delivered them to their teachers as a thank you for being such great examples to them.
Grandpa Atkins sent these fun felt sticker cutouts for the girls to do on Christmas Eve. They had a lot of fun creating their scenes and it saved me from prepping a craft for them to do. One tradition I wanted to start was a craft project on Christmas Eve before dinner. This was simple and easy to follow for the girls.
We had a delicious Mexican feast as a family of five. It was relaxing, stress free and minimal cleanup. I made pozole which is a pork hominy soup and I bought tamales from our Mexican grocery store. Daniel made Horchata which always comes out so yummy. I made the girls a different soup cause let's face it- their Mexican taste buds haven't come to fruition yet. They missed out. I made a pumpkin pie as well and we ate some of our sugar cookies for dessert. We let the girls open one present from my parents that evening and we read the story of Christ birth by the fire. It was a fun and perfect evening.
Christmas Day Daniel woke up early waiting for girls to wake up. I was so zonked out- that's what a new baby does to you- that Daniel had to come in a wake me up around 7 am. We bought Arizona a bike and covered it with a blanket. She was excited to pull the blanket off but as soon as she saw it she said, "This isn't the one I wanted." You mean thank you- right kid? She warmed up to it and has been riding her bike around our neighborhood playground. (She really wanted a pink sparkly bike, but I found her a Frozen bike cause let's be real- Black Friday sales).
It was so funny how slow and careful the girls were in opening their presents. I'm sure when they are older- there will be more intensity to it. With Christmas falling on Sunday we had limited time for breakfast and gifts and getting ready for church. We invited the sister missionaries over for breakfast. We made German pancakes with a homemade buttermilk syrup, an egg casserole, homemade cinammon rolls and some hot chocolate. It was so delicious and I'm sure if I had the time, I would have crawled into bed and taken a nap. The living room was chaos for the remainder of the day but it was such a pleasure to watch the girls play with all of their new toys and try on all of their new clothes. After church we came home and took naps and prepared for dinner at a friends house. We did a potluck turkey dinner and it was delicious.
We had the best Christmas at home with our sweet family. What a great weekend and such a simple way to celebrate Christ's birth.