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Let me preface this with…I know this blog post is going to be chaotic.. I thought about going back through and trying to organize all of the photos in chronological order. But you know what? This season IS chaotic, so I’m only going to embrace it.
Christmas morning was a success! Huxley was very excited that Santa was coming. She made sure she left out cookies and milk for him and carrots for his reindeer. Her mind was blown when she returned in the morning and they had been nibbled on. When Caleb was little, his family would do a “scavenger hunt” for a bigger gift, so we have continued to uphold that tradition with our kids. It’s a little difficult writing rhyming riddles that a two-year-old can comprehend, but it was overall a success. His mom still writes clues for a scavenger hunt for each family as well…this year she told us to look for the flour and I found four different sacks of flour–none of which had a clue on it. Apparently the one “she had been using the whole trip” was not one of the four I somehow found. Anyway, we still found our gift at the end of the scavenger hunt and fun was had by all!
The next tradition was Christmas tree hunting…this took place before Christmas, but the tree was not actually put up until the 26th? I don’t know, but if you knew Caleb’s family it would make sense. 🙂 Everyone was grumpy during the Christmas tree hunt, as tradition requires, so no pictures were taken on my actual camera because all the kids were screaming.
The hay ride and gingerbread decorating were also a success this year. The hay ride consists of freezing cold weather, brownies, and the promise of hot chocolate that often doesn’t make an appearance. Oh, and the hay ride was also hay-less this year. Instead we sat on logs. And I am laughing as I type this. It sounds like I am angry, but I promise I am not. It was honestly perfect.
Also, no pictures of gingerbread decorating because I was up to my elbows in icing. I was given the “Gingerbread Manor” and then Caleb was late to the contest…we salvaged it and still got a solid second place only because we only decorated one side of the Manor…the Manor was huge and I ran out of time and patience.
The beauty of these traditions though…is that everyone is invited. Always. This year, Caleb’s best friend’s wife had her family in from Massachusetts and they came to witness the craziness, as did Pat’s family. What a welcome to the family…being thrown into a fierce gingerbread competition as soon as you walk in the door! But it was so fun, as it always is!
Every year my family does a “12 Days of Christmas” themed tradition. It really boils down to us singing a modified version of 12 Days of Christmas at the top of our lungs while throwing random objects at one another, Oprah giveaway style. The objects usually have to do with a joke that occurred throughout the year or at the very least are just extremely festive. One of the random objects this year was lip stain because my grandma had been introduced to lip stain and she has been on the hunt for a certain type/shade all year and is still yet to find it. There’s a picture of Caleb with a little lip stain on in the reel I posted from our Christmas adventures too. 🙂
After that, we do a themed Dirty Santa where it can get a little competitive and schiesty (is that a word?), but so so fun nonetheless. I am usually right in the center of the rowdiness, which is why I rarely get pictures of this event.
There was a King’s Dominion trip thrown in there one night too. Huxley and Jackson both rode their first roller coaster, but we ended up being the first family to peace out because it was cold and I thought I had dressed the kids warmly enough…however, I had not, so they were miserable. The lights were pretty though.
Finally, Izzy, Caleb’s mom, requested that we get one family photo while we were all home. Caleb’s brother and his family traveled from Arizona and Caleb’s sister and her new fiancée were there too, so it was a prime opportunity for an updated (or first ever?) family portrait.
As you can imagine, trying to wrangle five kids four and under AND put self-timer on my camera sitting on the tailgate of a truck…well, the odds were stacked against us, but somehow we got it.
Then Izzy pushed it some more and wanted us to get on the trampoline (she embraces the chaos, can you tell?). So enjoy some outtakes of those because they are just wild!
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas Day, season, and break! And we are wishing you a wonderful New Year and 2023!
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