The First of December

The first weekend of December was our official welcome to Christmas.  The weekend was PACKED with fun Christmas activities and new traditions for our family.  

On Friday, we visited the big man from up North, Santa Claus.  We have yet to have a year that someone did not cry.  The first year was Eli, if you remember this absolutely hysterical picture. Not sure that much could top this one :-)

And last year it was better for Eli, but not so much for Beckett. 

With much anticipation, we headed to The Woodlands Market street see Santa Claus.  This year, they were actually excited.  We talked about it alot, we have read a ton of books and they both seemed excited about the visit.  We were running pretty late for a Friday evening and got stuck in terrible 5:00 traffic.  Justin and I were expected the worse in terms of lines and crowds but much to our surprise we walked right in with only one family in front.  The "elves" were so helpful and it was a great experience.  What a great looking Santa Claus too!

Little picture before leaving the house

We see him mom! We see him!
Look at this silly elf!

The prep talking before heading up the line

watching carefully

Little nervous with those sweet hands behind the back
And for the picture!  What sweet boys with Santa.  3 is the year!

Christmas 2012
After their visit with Santa, they picked a candy cane and played around while we waited on the pictures.  There were no other kids there in line so they got to talk to Santa and give high fives.  Eli asked him if his reindeer were on the roof.  They both also wanted to slap his belly and see if it giggled like a "bowl full of jelly".

elf hat

playing with the trains
slapping the belly
Sizing him up!

On the way out this little guy was in the holiday spirit.  He was calling himself the "dancing elf!"  

After pictures we met up with our favorite friends, The Padilla family, to enjoy the waterfront and yummy pizza.  Oh, and to chase boys all around too.

Saturday morning was the "official" first day of Christmas in our house.  The boys woke up to find that The Christmas Angel had arrived.  The Christmas Angel brings a message each day just like the angel brought to Mary, Joseph, and the Shepherds.  It is a great way to teach the true meaning of Christmas and to have a little fun.  Her message this morning was LOVE.  We talked about how Christmas is about love.  How God loves us so much that he sent his only son, Jesus to be born in a manger.  She also brought a special fun breakfast from the North Pole.

They named their angel "Slola" Hm.. 

Snowmen donuts
Mommy: "Beckett do you love Christmas?"
Beckett: "No Mommy, I love green jelly beans"
Hmm.. maybe we missed the point on this one. 
Delicious says Beckett
Is it real magic dust mommy?
The angel also brings a fun activity with her each day.  On Saturday she brought the nativity seen and asked the boys to help put it up.  They loved it!  They very carefully selected where each and every piece should go.  

Nice job I think 
Then we finished up Christmas.  Decorating the tree was a multi day process but we finally finished it off. Eli put the star on the top for us.

Adding the star 
It is done!

The boys loved helping with Christmas. Daddy got his job done on the garland and the boys decorated mom's snowman tree.

Grateful for these tiny sweet hands  
And these sweet little ones too  

Let me interject here that after all this Christmas, post nap, the Tide won the SEC Championship game.. all you know what broke loose in my house while I tried to watch the game, scream, you get it right.  Okay, now back to Christmas :-) Roll Tide!

As the close of the first day of December came, the sun went down and we all settled down.  This is our first year of Advent Calendar and I was nervous about how it would go.  I few weeks ago I purchased Usborne Advent Activity Pop Out Book.  Each day the boys will take out one piece of the manger scene and we will talk about the significance of that piece.  The first piece was Mary.  I read the verses about Mary and the angel coming to see her.  Eli interrupted and said "just like our angel comes to see us, mom" Heart melting.. happy dance.. hallejulah! He got it.  It was a super sweet time.  One of the things I did was sit them around the table and light a candle.  I explained how Jesus is the light of the world and we light a candle to symbolize his presence.  Something about the candlelight seemed to be important to them.   When we were done, we all held hands and said a prayer thanking God for Jesus and for Christmas.  Then the boys took turns blowing out the candle.  And then another turn. And another. And another.

Day 1 Advent 2012

I think one of the most fun and special jobs we have as parents are to create traditions and memories with our children.  Isn't it a gift? To help structure what they will remember about their childhood? My prayer for them is that they will remember these special moments.  They will remember their parents spending time with them and creating magic for them.  Whether or not they carry on these traditions will be their decisions later with their families but for now, the first of December will be very very special to us. 

The Riley's 

The Riley FamilyComment