When the sun went down, we headed out on a Christmas lights scavenger hunt. We drove through several neighborhoods, a drive-through display, and found THREE different houses with lights choreographed to music. Even though we never found ice skates, carolers, or a nutcracker, it was a fun adventure!
It was a day to deliver the Christmas cookies! We made a list of some places to which we wanted to deliver, in addition to our neighbors. We visited the nature center, the police station, W's speech therapy center, the library, our leasing office, and the fire station. The guys at the fire station were fantastic, letting the boys climb all over the trucks, giving them a tour of their living quarters, letting them experience the lights and sirens, and giving them some activity books. One guy even took pictures for me and sent them to my phone, since mine had died. That led to a funny discovery that he has some friends from the same little town in Illinois where we used to live! Small world.
Later we delivered goody bags to our neighbors. We knocked on 7 doors up and down our hallway, but only 2 people opened up for us. We left the bags for the rest to discover. One sweet lady said she had heard us, but was happy to meet us. Ha! Sorry, neighbors.
We headed to the dollar store and loaded up some care packages for our car. We were able to put together 8 different bags with gloves, socks, scarves, wet wipes, granola bars, and McDonald's gift cards. Our hope is that, as we see people in need this winter, we will be able to help them stay warm and get a hot meal. We've given away a few already, and the boys are becoming more aware of others. W wanted to ask the scruffy-looking guy who was checking us in for an oil change if he was in need of anything. Thankfully I stopped him as he was rolling down the window but before the words escaped his lips.
The Nutcracker is one of my favorites. It makes me nostalgic for my own childhood. I remember sitting around our living room watching Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland dance on PBS while my mother shouted things like, "look at that! look at him jump! look at his legs! look at her toes! watch her spin!" Now those same things come out of my mouth. Also, I made the boys try to pirouette.
Having a houseful of very boyish boys, the ballet is not necessarily their favorite Christmas tradition. So we spice it up with crafts and a few different tellings of the story throughout the day. This year we made nutcracker candy jars. The idea was these adorable little coordinated jar toppers. Two thirds of my boys, though, just wanted to glue a little nutcracker on top of the jar. So. They did.
Cowtown was having an old-timey Charles Dickens-inspired Christmas celebration, complete with Santa Claus, Ebenezer Scrooge, parlor games, and Christmas carols. It was the perfect opportunity to watch The Muppets' Christmas Carol and then get bundled up for some old-fashioned fun. After all, there'll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago! The boys' highlights were the crafts, printing their own bookmarks on a printing press, and playing pass the slipper. Enough fun was had that they were even willing to stand next to Santa and Mrs. Claus for a picture!
This was our Kansas Christmas! We woke up to discover stuffed stockings and piles of presents under the tree. After breakfast we gathered around to open them all up and spend a few hours playing with our new toys. We enjoyed ham and yams for a late lunch and then hunkered down for a Star Wars movie marathon! We may have started a new Christmas tradition.
This was a busy day as we tried to get everything ready for our trips east. We had visits to doctors and dentists, a grocery run, and an oil change. Not to mention packing and laundry. I didn't want it to be a complete wash as far as fun stuff goes, though. We spent some time looking back over all the fun that we have had in 2015 by going through photo albums. It was actually a lot of laughs as we retold the stories. It was a warm fuzzy way to end our day.