1. The Christmas Calendar
This was my FAVORITE holiday tradition as a child, and my Mom was so sweet to pass it down this year, or rather, pass it down to Ali.
It’s a quilted Christmas tree calendar with a pocket for each day in December up to the 23rd. It gets filled up at the beginning of the month to increase the joy of anticipation (and impatience) with alternating small toys and candy…
and each morning, Ali gets a treat out of the very same calendar that I adored…
although a bit confused as to why she only gets it after NIGHT time sleep, and not NAP time sleep.
2. Christmas Dressiness.
No, as much as Chris would want it to be, this is NOT our house.
If you’re in Birmingham, check out this link to a map (and pictures!) to the best lights in town. We use it every year to go stalk all of the local Griswolds.
4. Gingerbread Construction.
Ali and Gramamma made an excellent house while we were in Atlanta:
I might or might not have eaten all of the icing off of it before Ali remembered to ask for it.
5. Zoolight Safari.
We went on a dark and stormy night…
(and also both having very good hair nights due to the misting.
What does football have to do with the zoo?
The zoo is in Alabama, that’s what.
6. Christmas Card Making.
Ali and I hosted 14 kids four years old and under, 7 Mommies, and several thousand stickers at our house. Using two tables, we managed to make enough Christmas cards that, when lined up end to end, would stretch from my house to….at least my neighbor’s house.
Of course, this created quite the wonderful mess.
We had a fabulous time, and Ali made cards for all of her favorite people, like her apparently Arabic Daddy named “Dyadd”,
her possibly Jewish Papa named “Appa”,
and her Rapper Aunt Kitty, “K-Tiyt.”
I’m not sure that letting her choose the order of the letters will help her spelling abilities, but it does seem to blossom creativity.
7. Christmas craft making.
Nikki encouraged me to explore my inner creativity and decorate a cookie myself since the kids were too busy eating their sprinkles to properly decorate, so I did.
I mindlessly decorated my cookie, and then upon musing on my creation, I realized that I had just made the emblem for my Grandmother’s Eastern Star fraternal organization:
Christmas shopping completed: Thursday.
Personalized Christmas Labels completed: Friday.
Now it was time to wrap it all. I counted: a total of 52 presents this year. Yeesh.
My friend Amanda came over, as tradition states, to wrap her presents and keep us company.
Ali woke up from her (nearly pull-up-less) nap half-way through her nap, so to occupy her, we let her decorate one of her own presents:
That actually worked for quite some time. I highly recommend it.
We feverishly wrapped and decorated our presents from 5:30 to 11:30 pm,
We borrowed the rest of Ali’s card-making shapes to add flair, especially when we could make the wrapping paper look 3-dimensional:
Every present has a printed-out tag with a unique picture of Ali on it:
(because we’re not obsessed with our child or anything),
And I attempted to match the pictures up with the person. If I had a picture of Ali with that person, that was their picture. If the picture was of her at their house, that was their picture.
Or, if I just knew that they would like a keepsake memento of Ali shooting a bird, that was their picture:
9. Silly Seasonal Sights.
Apparently, our neighbors are just as intent on keeping Santa from being able to come visit them as Ali is: