Just after Thanksgiving, I sat down with the boys and we wrote out a list of everything we wanted to do during the Christmas season. Most of the items were generated by them, with just a few suggestions from me. The list included treats to bake, crafts to make, and places to visit. So far, we've checked off a lot of items.
Make cookies: Check.
These giant ginger cookies were incredibly good. Ginger cookies are my absolute favorite anyway, but then I added some cocoa powder and chocolate chunks. So, so good. Unfortunately (for the kids and my waist-line) they didn't last very long in the house.
Go see The Nutcracker: Check.
Go to The Nutcracker with friends and then go see Christmas in the Park: Double check!
Miss Lucy got to stay home with Grandma so the big kids and I could have a fun day out. It was our first time seeing The Nutcracker in person. I didn't think the boys would be that interested, but I took them anyway in the interest of checking off "cultural activity" for the month. I was surprised that they loved it! They said they can't wait to go back again next year.
Build gingerbread houses: Check.
We got the kits from Trader Joe's. They were inexpensive, and yet high quality (and even better, no artificial junk in the candy!) This was the first year the boys made them completely on their own. It was fun watching their creative technique.
Drive around to look at Christmas Lights: Check.
Make cinnamon-dough ornaments: Check.
Actually, I made the ornaments while the kids played with the leftover dough and sprinkles. This turned out to be way more mess and effort than than those crafty-mom blogs let on. This is one activity that probably won't be making our bucket list next year. The upside was that my house smelled glorious for a whole day!
All that's left on our list is to see a few Christmas movies (Polar Express and How the Grinch Stole Christmas) and do another craft (paper snowflakes).