Before I get to the Christmas hoopla I have to comment on a few things. First, Zoe informed me this morning that the reason she didn't have homework yesterday was because 6 kids in her class were absent. I knew this couldn't be good and asked her if she knew what was wrong with them. She did and it was as bad as I expected...the stomach flu. It was tempting to tell her she would be staying home the rest of the week, but instead instructed her not to touch anyone and Matt added to wash her hands a thousand times during the day, he may have even said a million times, we do not want to be sick!!!!
And secondly, last night was the first time in 10 months that all of our children slept through the night. It was so nice!
Okay, now for the 12 Christmas things about me hoopla that Kristen tagged me to do...
1. The Christmas season starts on December 1st for me. The past few years I have started to listen to Christmas music the week after Thanksgiving, but I just can't truly get into the Christmas spirit until the calendar says December...so you can imagine how annoying it is for me to see Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving!
2. I love having my kids do different activities to countdown to Christmas. My favorite is our numbered bags that my Mom bought for us. She intended for me to put candy treats and little surprises in each bag for each day, but I decided to use a doll instead that we move each day. It's fun to see the doll get closer to Christmas Eve and it helps the kids know how many days are left until Christmas.
The kids love unwrapping a book every night before bed and having it read to them.
3. The Christmas season would not be complete without my sugar cookies. Actually, I should give the credit to Betty Crocker for the sugar cookie mix and Duncan Hines for the vanilla frosting. The most work I do is mix the cookie mix, butter, and egg, bake the cookies, put frosting on them, and then add the sprinkles. I haven't met anyone who doesn't love these sugar cookies. :-)
4. Christmas lights that blink drive me nuts! I think it's because I love looking at the lights and when they are turning on and off all the time it's hard to enjoy them.
5. I love having a real Christmas tree. We always had an artificial tree when I was growing up, but I have insisted on a real tree since Matt and I have been in our home. Matt would gladly switch over to an artificial tree, but he hasn't convinced me yet.
6. For some reason we always end up getting our tree a week before Christmas. I always hope to get it 2 weeks before Christmas, but it never happens. So what did we do for Family Home Evening last night? You got it!
Kate was very happy to have something new to play with.
Our tree is a little on the small side, but it fits perfectly in our little house and it smells so good! We all love it.
7. Our Christmas tree consists of lights, ornaments, pipe cleaner candy canes, and sometimes real candy canes.
8. Christmas is the best when there is snow. It is really annoying when we have a brown/green Christmas and then it snows the day AFTER Christmas. I want snow on the ground and on the trees. I'm hoping for more snow before Christmas...without the rain and ice!
9. Watching the cartoon version of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is a must on Christmas Eve.
10. We always had a big breakfast on Christmas morning before opening presents, which has become a tradition in our family. A few years ago we gave the kids the option of eating first or opening gifts first and they chose to eat first. Matt has yet to adjust to this tradition, but he goes along with it every year. We have simplified how much cooking we do to save on time with a sausage egg casserole that I make. It is so good! If you'd like the recipe just say so and I'll post it.
11. We were able to open our stockings before breakfast when I was growing up and we let our kids do the same. We wrap the presents and candy that are in the stockings.
12. I love all the gifts that my children make for me. I keep a few of them up all year long. I even saved some wrapping paper that Zoe made to wrap one of her gifts with a few years ago and she was surprised to see it hanging up on the wall this year. My children have Matt's artistic abilities and I love to look at their creations.
Now here are a few rules for Cindy, PJ, Gabriela, Courtney, and Janae because I know they want to participate, right?!
1. List 12 random things about yourself that has to do with Christmas
2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word
3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.
4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible.
5. If you want to -- please give me, Andrea, some link-love as the 'Hoopla-Creator'. I love new blog-traffic.