The most exciting Christmas storage box we open each year is the one that contains the girls Christmas bedding. It is such a simple thing to do and I have a feeling as the girls grow up it will be one of their favorite Christmas memories ... sleeping in their "santa sheets". This year when we were at the tree lot getting our tree the girls found this cute little one and begged to put it in their bedroom. Elle promised she would make sure it had plenty of water each day. It looks so cute in their room. We just put simple white lights on it and at night their room looked so magical. I don't want them to grow up.
I put this wreath together for our door this Christmas. I had purchased a fresh bay leaf wreath which was incredibly beautiful but it dried out much more quickly than they ever have before for me. It went bright orange which didn't look quite right for Christmas. I then saw the boxwood wreaths at Trader Joes and was so happy. I just tied everything together with string and then added the red satin ribbon and my favorite Santa and it looked pretty cute.
I took almost this exact picture of Lily last Christmas on our front porch. It's incredible how fast she is growing up. Wishing I could slow it down somehow.
Santa Claus found the McGee girls once again. I came downstairs and took this picture just before the girls got to see their treasures. The girls each got the dolls they wanted so much. Elle's is the snorkeling girl. Gwen's is the ballerina doll and Lily wanted the princess dolly. They also each received a scooter. For weeks Lily had been asking for an orange scooter. Gwen wanted hot pink and Elle didn't ask for a scooter but since her favorite color is navy blue, Santa brought her a navy blue scooter. All the gifts were fun but I'd have to say that the gifts they loved the most were their little art boxes. Santa put together a box for each of them full of crayons, scissors, markers. stickers, paper, glue sticks etc. Even my little Lily received her own box. She's so proud. This is one of my favorite pictures of the morning:
...the girls first realization that Santa really did make it to our home. Each of them are looking directly where their gifts were. No guessing or names on anything was needed. They each knew right where to run. As much fun as they had, I must admit, it's waaaay more fun being the parent.
Wishing I still had 12 days left until Christmas. The reality is there is just ONE more day. I LOVE having small traditions that we do each year. It makes for such a magical time of year with little kids. Our Countdown advent calendar has been a favorite of the girls over the past few years. The girls take turns each day as to who turns over the little card. They get soo excited when it's their turn. I also found these cute little vintage Santa mugs . They're tiny and the girls have LOVED using them for everything from hot chocolate just to drinks of water during the day. I'm on the hunt for a vintage Santa cookie jar as well. I've seen lots of reproductions in stores but nothing that I've loved. And don't think we didn't hit the mall for our annual picture with Santa. I've done this every single year since Elle was born and have framed them. It's my very favorite thing to pull out of our Christmas boxes each year. I've even got one of me when I was a little girl. They're covered in little fingerprints because the girls constantly are taking them off and looking at them. I can't wait to add lots more as well. I once heard a man I admire say, "happy childhood memories = healthy adults." I think of that often. My hope is that we are creating happy memories for our girls as they grow up.
To say we love celebrating Christmas at our house would be an understatement. I started decorating our house the day after Thanksgiving. We also have a strict rule that only Christmas music can be played (including in the car) and all TV shows and movies have to be Christmas. The kids laugh and it's actually really fun. The problem is that I've been sooo busy that I haven't had time to post any pictures. The days just FLY by for me at this stage of my life. This past week I also had a bunch of girlfriends over here for a party. You can see my Jonnie in the background making his famous crepes. No one makes them as well as he does. It was a blast and my girls LOVED all the preparations. I'm in shock (and denial) that Christmas is just 4 days away! I'm wishing desperately that I could make the clock stop. Here's to a few more sleepless nights.
My Gwenners turned 6! Hard to believe. When she left for school she said, "mom!! am I going to have the big surprises on the kitchen table when I get home from school like last year?!" I assured her it would be just as amazing. The sweetest thing is that last year what was sooo amazing to her was just a few little gifts on our kitchen table.
Well, this year I made it just as "Amazing" as last year. A grocery store cake, 3 pink balloons, our birthday banner and the big gifts were Lalaloopsy chapstick and bath soap. I also wrapped 3 packs of PINK gum. She walked in the door and started screaming. She kept saying, "this is the best birthday ever." She couldn't even wait for Elle or Jon to get home to light the candles. Lily and I sang happy birthday to her and she blew out her candles.
It was perfect. Man, I love this little girl. She is HILARIOUS and Feisty and Sweet all wrapped into the cutest little person ever.