But actually, it all started with Ben's holiday concert at Creative World on the 12th. Then I was one of the party mom's for Ben's Kindergarten holiday party. I made the kids goodie bags and put together a little craft--decorating foam trees and ornaments with stickers and buttons. The kids really enjoyed the craft, and at one point I heard Ben say to his friend "Alex, doesn't my mom Rock?" I better enjoy it now before I'm totally uncool and he's embarrassed to be seen with me. Ben came home and immediately hung his ornaments up on the tree with pride:
The party really got started when Mom and Bill arrived. We hung out, ran errands, went out to eat, and watched holiday movies.
On Christmas Eve, we had already made plans to attend the annual Jackson Christmas Eve party, so we headed off and Mom and Bill enjoyed the quiet. :-)
We headed to Cheryl's for dinner and gifts. The kids sat together, except Liv who preferred to eat downstairs with Hannah (Cheryl's stepdaugther who is 17 and great with the kiddos, bless her).
It's not really Christmas until you have an impromptu football game in the kitchen. (Note Ben's outfit. We picked out the holiday button down, and then he chose that t-shirt because it's green, so he had red and green to celebrate. Hmm, indeed.)
The kids were all excited to open gifts. Liv was very slow at this but really enjoyed it. She was often excited just to have the box.
Liv got a Frozen dress up trunk with dresses, rings, and bracelets. She put a ring on each finger to show them off--that's a lot of bling.
And this Elsa doll, which she kept putting in a box, telling all of us to close our eyes, and then whipping off the lid yelling "tada" with such excitement. So cute. Like I said, she is still at an age where the boxes are as fun as the gifts inside.
The kids were both spoiled by all their generous relatives and had a great time.
Cheryl had cute props for the kids. Liv seemed a little confused as to what to do with them, but that didn't stop her from getting in on the action.
Snuggles with my love bug.
We stayed pretty late, and it is a 1.5 hour drive, so we got home pretty late. We put the kids in their PJs before we left, so we just had to carry them up to bed. Ben woke up when we got home and rallied long enough to help me set out the cookies and milk for Santa and the carrots for the reindeer. He also made Santa a "present" complete with tape to unwrap in order to see the picture he drew. So we put that out for him too, along with the snowflake that he cut and colored. Ben is REALLY into Christmas and Santa this year.
Once the kids were up in bed, I put out our gifts and we were ready to go. Bring on Christmas!