“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” ~William Blake (the famous English poet, not our precious son...yet ;-))
I'm thankful for the ways in which we've already begun to celebrate the holidays!
My new neighbor BFF (SOOO thankful for her & her friendship! :-)) and I made Christmas shirts for all of our children this last week. Our MOPS craft guru showed us these jack-o-lantern shirts back in October and said that she'd also done them as Christmas shirts with dark green dye & then decorated the circles to look like ornaments. We used puffy paint (whoa, did that smell send me back 20+ years!!! I went through a major puffy-paint-EVERYTHING phase in middle school ;-)) instead of sharpies, so it would show up on the dark green, and they ended up AMAZING! I was worried that giving the kids free reign with a myriad of colors would look insane - more Jackson Pollock than perfect Christmas craft, :-P but they were impressive! Will came up with his own fill-in designs completely on his own; Annelise did her color choices & dots - I just spread a few too-thick globs out.
Super excited that not only do they have precious new coordinating Christmas shirts, but that *they* really made them and that I made a dear new friend in the process. :-)
Friday night, JB & I took the kids out to our town's Christmas Lights Parade. We all looooove parades, and even though it was COLD, (I protected my ears, for sure, & my hands still tingled 4 hours later!) it was spectacular. Every group & float had to be covered in lights to be in the parade, and - of course - they all handed out TONS of candy. Ugh. It was quite literally as much as Halloween night, all over again. But the kids were thrilled, (& I'm sure some unscrupulous behavior will pop up fairly soon that will warrant me taking it all away forever, so I'm not too worried. ;-)) It was just a really fun family together time!
This morning, we drug all of our Christmas decorations up out of the basement. Seeing the kids' faces as we opened the boxes was priceless! "The Christmas train!!!" "The Advent calendar!!!" "MY ORNAMENTS!!!" We always like to put our decorations up the weekend before Thanksgiving, so we can just turn them on after those festivities. (I'm pretty sure I won't be able to resist turning the tree on immediately, though. :-)) I blogged last year about the style of our tree. I still love thinking of the ornaments as scrapbook of our family!
This afternoon, we went back downtown. They're hosting a European-style Christmas Market - great concept, and although it's NOWHERE NEAR the magical Christkindlesmarkt Nürnberg or Weihnachtsmarkt Würzburg I enjoyed in Germany, it's still great for here. The carousel was free, (what a relief not to steer the kids away!)
and the crafts & wares were cute, although we bought nothing. Will & Sis decorated gingerbread men in front of a delicious bakery...
...and now I am CRAVING big, soft gingerbread men like no other!!! The parade candy is not cutting it, people. I tried to scam bites off the kids; I only got two, and they just whet my appetite.
The best deal of the day was Santa. We only had to wait in line for about 5 minutes, and it was *completely free* for me to stand there and take as many pics as I could snap with my own camera. I am SO THANKFUL we get to avoid the evil money pit that is mall Santa pics! Will and Annelise BOTH asked for "snake stuff", which kind of threw poor Santa for a loop. :-P He wasn't sure it was OK with us parents for him to condone the promise of a snake hook (yes, it's OK with us; we know it's Will's #1 dream) and he certainly was a little stunned that sweet Annelise was also asking for something snakey instead of, oh say, a baby doll. :-D