Christmas 2017 Bucket List
Tis the season for a new Bucket List...Falalalalalalalala!
Christmas is one of the most wonderful times of the year...especially with family and especially in Kansas City. The city is full of lights, the air is crisp, snow could appear at any moment, and there are holiday festivities everywhere. December is such a packed month full of fun and parties, but we make sure we keep some family traditions as well. We also make sure our girls understand the true reason for this season: the birth of Jesus.
Here is what we came up with for Christmas 2017:
Sit on Santa's Lap: Typically, we go to see Santa at Crown Center. It is an amazing, FREE place to see Santa, and there are a lot of photo opportunities there. (You can purchase a photo or take one with your own device.) Plus, we love seeing the GIANT Christmas tree outside. If you go early on a weekday, there are also no lines for Santa! This year, we were unable to make it to Crown Center twice, so we saw Santa at Union Station when we were there for the Santa Train. Both girls were so excited about sitting on Santa's lap, and during the hour and a half wait, Eliza told us all the things she was going to say to Santa. Then when it was finally their turn, they were much less enthusiastic. Hattie cried and Eliza wouldn't say one word to him, but we now have some hilarious photos and checked that off our list.
Santa Train: This was an event at Union Station. We reserved our time-slot online, and we didn't have to wait too long to board the train. (Seeing Santa was another story.) We walked through the train, saw all the different decorations, and were on our way all in about 15 minutes. The girls liked the lights, but they were a little disappointed because they thought they would be able to ride on it! Perhaps we should have prepped them a little better. They were happy with the jingle-bell they received from the elves on the train, though.
Make Chocolate Covered Pretzels: This is something we do every Christmas. We make them for friends, family, and teacher gifts. They're easy and cheap to make, delicious, and look very cute in a mason jar decorated as a reindeer or a snowman. The girls like to "help" too. I just give them their own bowl of chocolate and all the broken pretzels, and they make their own bag of snacks because...no one wants to eat the ones they make. Want proof? Check out Eliza's "How To Make Pretzels" video. Friends, if you are watching, I promise she did NOT make your pretzels!
Christmas Move & Popcorn: This is another thing we do each year - usually on December 23 or 24, depending on when we attend church. This year, we introduced the girls to "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
Christmas Church: This was Eliza's term for going to the Christmas service at our church, Antioch Bible Baptist Church. She wanted to put this on our list because she was so excited to wear her Christmas dress to church. The girl loves ANYTHING that is fancy and sparkles. She was also very excited about her tights. (She does NOT take after her mother.) I will try to make my girls match at Christmas and Easter until they go to college.
*Side note: my husband does not understand why we need to purchase special Christmas dresses or Easter dresses. Can someone talk some sense into him for me?
Look at Christmas Lights in our PJs: We put on our pajamas (all of us), loaded up the car, and drove through the neighborhoods after making a pitstop at Starbucks for the adults in the car. We also made a stop by Pleasant Valley Baptist Church to see their synchronized music and light show. There is a big event with live musicians early in December, but for the rest of the month, you can tune your radio to a set station and watch the light show every 30 minutes. My girls think it's magical, and it is 5 minutes from our house.
Make Jesus Cupcakes: When Marcus first saw this on the list, he said, "How are you going to make cupcakes look like Jesus?" Hahaha. I should have written "Make Cupcakes for Jesus's Birthday," but this was much shorter. We make these on Christmas day each year and decorate them with plenty of sprinkles. It is a great way to remember, even in the midst of presents and family and fun, that the real reason for this celebration is the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
See "The Star": We didn't get to check this one off. Between the Christmas events, being hit with sicknesses, and some important adoption paperwork (ie-matching with our SON!), we just couldn't swing it. We will watch the movie when it comes out on DVD...or maybe it can be our "Christmas Move & Popcorn" flick for next year. Oh well, 8 out of 9 (+ so many more Christmas events) ain't bad, right?
Go to Texas: The girls are excited ANY time we get to go see family in Texas. We made the 10-12 hour (depending on how many times the munchkins need to stop) trip this year for Thanksgiving AND Christmas. Yes, we are crazy. But, we had a great time, and we got this sweet photo of the girls with their great-grandma. They only get to see her about once a year.
Bonus: We snuck in a few more things that weren't on our Bucket List, but that were still worth mentioning.
Charlie Brown Christmas: Every year the Coterie Theater at Crown Center puts on a Christmas production. It's a family-friendly theater where the kids sit on the floor near the stage. The actors come through the aisles and there is lots of singing and dancing. We try to go to as many of the young-child productions as we can, and this show was a lot of fun! Get your tickets early because they sell out pretty quickly for the Christmas show.
Elf on the Shelf: Yes, we have an elf. No, our elf, Mr. Glitter Sparkles (I bet you can't guess who named him), does not do anything other than move around the house like he's playing hide and seek. Please do not tell my children that their elf is supposed to make them mini-donuts or throw toilette paper everywhere or sprinkle flour all over my kitchen because it ain't happenin'. Who has time for that?! One thing that our elf does do though, is that he ends up in the mason jar when they wake up on Christmas Eve. If you stick to the story, children are not supposed to touch the elf because then he won't be able to fly back to the North Pole. But, when he is in the mason jar, the girls get to carry him around for the day.
We are praying big prayers that our son will be home for Christmas next year. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!