I wanted to make sure we took December easy this year because I didn't want to get overwhelmed and sick right before the baby was born.
I usually start decorating our house for Christmas either the week before Thanksgiving (if we're going out of town) or the day after. Amy and Jeff helped us carry up our decorations when they were visiting for Thanksgiving and on December 1st we started the decorating fun.
Caden really had a lot of fun putting ornaments up on our little tree.
Our Christmas tree corner
We've always had a mantle to hang our stockings so I wan't sure what we would do this year. Austin had the genius idea to hang them on the window ledge.
I was bummed we wouldn't have lights up in our house (one of my favorite parts of Christmas but our baby tree is too tiny for them). I already had some pre-lighted garland that we've never had a spot for and Austin found a way to hang them. I think it was my favorite decoration this year.
My other favorite part of Christmas is the nativities. I have been given quite a few over the years (its tradition for Austin to give me one every year) but I didn't have room for them all this year. We got most of them up though.
This is our Christmas card display that Austin came up with our first year we were married. It's starting to get too small for all the cards we get. We might have to do something different next year.
Caden has had fun with Santa this year. He doesn't really understand what exactly Santa does but he recognizes him and knows what he says. I bought these window clings a few year ago and Caden loved playing with them.
Caden and I had fun making a few Christmas crafts during the month as well. He painted these gingerbread men for his grandparents.
We also colored some place mats and used them throughout the month.
Caden also painted some popsicle sticks for a frame ornament for mom and dad (this boy loves painting).
Caden liked this little Santa magnet and would tell us what Santa says in his deep Santa voice:
"Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!"
I wasn't sure if I was going to make Christmas goodies this year, but how can you not.
This is what Austin brought to work.
Before we moved to Chicago one family told us it had only snowed a couple times the year before. That definitely isn't the case this year. At the beginning of December it had already snowed 2 or 3 times and we got a lot more snow before the New Year.
Caden and I liked looking at the white outside but for Austin, who parks a few blocks from our house, it was pretty miserable.
Caden and I enjoyed a few fun activities outside the house during the month.
We had our Ward Christmas Party (that we also helped decorate for).
We drove out to Ikea to get some Christmas gifts and enjoyed a little lunch date.
There was also a Bass Pro shop near Ikea so I thought we could stop and get a free picture with Santa. I didn't know if Caden would be willing to sit on his lap and take a picture so I asked him if he wanted to go see Santa or not. He said yes and was very excited to go to "Santa's House". We stood in line (which wasn't too long) and Caden had fun looking for Santa. When it was finally our turn Caden was suddenly shy and wouldn't sit on Santa's lap. Santa even gave him some jingle bells to hold but he wasn't interested in mom walking away, so this was the best we got.
|Santa wasn't having a very smiley day and apparently I thought if I smiled big Caden might smile too.|
Caden did enjoy his candy cane and looking at all the Christmas displays, like this train.
There was even a place to sit and color, and we know how much this boy loves to color!
The month was also filled with Christmas goodies and packages from loved ones.
We didn't get a family picture on Christmas Sunday but we snapped a few in the elevator on the way to the car.
|This boy was not too thrilled. He just wanted his dad.|
At the end of the month there was a fairly warm day ( I think it was in the mid 40's) so we decided to head to the Lincoln Park Zoo lights. Everyone else had the same idea as us and the traffic was bumper to bumper. Austin ended up dropping us off and driving around while I took Caden out to see the lights. So much for a family activity. We learned from our experience and have a plan set up if we want to try to go another year.
Austin was on call New Years Eve and New Years day. We didn't stay up late (although Caden had a hard time sleeping the night before and was almost up until midnight). I happened to wake up around midnight on New Years Eve and snapped this awesome picture.
Thankfully Austin had a very quiet call day and was able to be home most of the day (we attribute it to how cold and snowy it was).
We're looking forward to new experiences in a new year!