I love Christmastime and the magical feeling that accompanies it every year. This season, we spent our holiday close to home. After the school events and parties were through, it was time to put a check mark next to a few items on our "family activity to do list" for the month.
A few of those traditions included things around the home that we were already doing, such as reading a Christmas book every day in December and documenting our elf on the shelf visits. Other activities had us venture outdoors...
Like last year, we wanted to take the boys to see Santa at downtown Macy's.
And who could forget about the Day in the Life of an Elf?!
I believe two of my favorites in this fairytale exhibit are the Christmas Tree Forest and the Reindeer Stable.
Afterwards, Rassie (who was in town for the adventure!) took the boys by Mrs. Claus' bakery for some sugary treats.
We wrote our letters to Santa and popped them in his giant red mailbox.
And then we took a stroll in downtown Minne, for as long as our bodies could stand the cold, which was not very long for my born-and-raised-in-the-deep-South-loves-the-beach-and-warm-temps mother. haha!
We saved our sugary treats for the Holidazzle Parade that we watched from inside one of the skyways over the city. (We missed getting to hear the beautiful music that accompanies the annual parade downtown, but did get to see the grand lights and holiday fair. I did not get any blog worthy pictures from inside to share though! Next year, we will have to dress warmer to be able to sit outside with the rest of the Minnesota folks. ;))
Sunday morning, mama went to church with us and we had a friend snap this quick family photo of us.
Outside our church, a group of kids had built this big fellow -- Frosty's cousin-- after our big snowstorm. This picture was taken two weeks later after a lot of snow had melted, but still he was standing tall. I should have picked up his missing eye that was on the ground before snapping the picture. :)
Before Christmas, we had lots of Christmas storytime with Rassie.
On Christmas Eve, we ran out early that morning for a quick shopping trip to our favorite General Store.
That afternoon/evening we attended Wooddale's Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Beautiful. Cooper played down in the nursery and Parker got to sit in the sactuary with us. I think I stared at his precious face at least 1/4 of the time to see his reaction to everything.
While on our way home, we stopped by Prairie Lights to check out the spectacular display that our friends had told us about. To go along with the 256 channels of incredible animation, is synchronized music that is broadcasted on 88.1 FM. Cars parked on all sides of the streets to watch the lighted show. If you live in the area, I would recommend making it a yearly tradition during the holiday season!
We arrived home that evening to more boxes on the front porch, to which the boys could not wait to climb on once we brought the packages inside.
...but not before we opened our Christmas cards for the day,
and baked cookies for Santa (easy pre-made dough from the store). :)
a view of our tree on Christmas Eve.
Just before heading upstairs to say prayers and dream of Santa, his sleigh full of toys and his eight reindeer, Clay pulled out his phone for them to track Santa and see where the big man was currently visiting. That brought much excitement to the room when the little men found out he was dropping off packages in Brazil and would be in the States shortly after. Up to our beds we went and off to sleep we fell...dreaming magical thoughts and waiting to see what Santa would leave behind for the good boys and girls...and hoping we had all been good. ;)