Brace yourself, this is a long one! I know I’m super overdue for a post, so here goes the holiday recap…
To start, Avery had some fun school festivities in December. First, he had a Polar Express Day! Everyone dressed up in PJs, brought stuffed friends/toys, watched the movie, and had popcorn!
When we got to school that day, the door was decorated
And there were train tracks in the hallway….
Avery chose his fire truck PJs, and Simon and his blue blanket to bring with him.
When he came home, he was raving about everyones different PJs, and how he loved the popcorn (one of his favorite snacks!)
Next up, was the holiday party at school. The kids were so cute, with reindeer hats they made using their handprints.
They had red pom poms on popsicle sticks for noses too, so cute!!
The preschool & afterschooler’s sang a song:
Avery is on the left, in the green and white striped shirt… you know, the one whose nose won’t stay still… haha.
Avery gave a friend a ‘Frozen’ book, and she gave him a construction pop up book.
And to top it off, the kiddos had some special holiday cake (Well, Avery had frosting, haha)
Our next holiday celebration was Valyou Family Christmas. And somehow I fell into the role of planning and prepping for it (not complaining, I just think it’s funny – and so happy with how it turned out!). So, our big family came together
Thanks to my cousin Danielle, Uncle John, and Brittany, homemade decorations covered the room, making it look so festive!
This year we had it at the Eagles Club (Thanks Grandma), so with Grampy watching Avery, Mom, Sarah and I got to decorate.
Mom made some homemade centerpieces too – mason jars filled with candy, wine bottle corks, popouri, and an electric candle.
I even setup a DIY photobooth that was a hit, especially with the little ones.
I used leftover streamers, and gathered props from around the house. We bought 3 mustaches, and mom made a couple beards, but otherwise, it didn’t cost anything to make… and the pictures came out pretty funny…
Grampy’s shirt says ‘Son of a Nutcracker’, a quote from the movie. Avery’s says ‘Grandson of a Nutcracker.’
Our family members arrived and the yankee swap table quickly filled up…
We played a 28 person yankee swap, with a twist! Everyone had a number on their card, and inside was instructions to either keep their gift, swap with anyone, or something silly like swap with the tallest person, the person with the biggest feet, or whoever looked most like Santa.
Uncle Mike brought his new puppy, Willow.
Gram, Gramp, and Dad’s siblings (the parents & their EIGHT kids):
The ELEVEN grandkids (only 1 of us is missing, Miss you Eric!):
The NINE great grandkids (2 missing, Benj & Ellery):
And the whole fam (missing Eric, Lindsay, Benj, & Ellery)
Next up… Christmas Eve. We played games, had snackies, and Avery enjoyed his first shirley temple!
(Toddler Tip: Make a shirley temple with apple juice instead of ginger ale)
We played Avery’s favorite board game… candy land!
Aunt Sarah was home from Grad School – Avery was very excited to see her.
Avery and Grampy got a little gift to wear to bed… matching PJ’s! (A tradition my sis and I used to do every year as kids, and we are happy to hand it off to them now, haha)
Avery set out cookies, cheese, and milk for Santa (Yes, he asked to leave santa cheese… the kid loves cheese), and we sprinkled reindeer dust (he made at school) on the back porch and left a carrot for them too. We read the night before Christmas and said goodbye to the Elf on the Shelf. Avery was very excited for Santa to come, and fell asleep pretty quickly.
Then the ‘grown ups’ stayed up for some more festivities…
Dad and Steve had way too much fun, obviously. A couple drinks and a long golf card game later, we all headed to bed to wait for Santa.
Christmas morning… Santa had come and Avery was very excited!
We started with stockings. Avery got a new toothbrush, socks, jelly beans, and a new loufa for bath time.
He got a new sled – which we still haven’t used. It’s been below freezing here for a while and we have little snow.
Aunt Sarah made pancakes, and Avery put out a fire while she was cooking.
After the stockings, we had a yummy breakfast…
Pancakes made with love :)
Then started the gifts… Avery got Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land.
He got food for his kitchen.
I scored a pink headband for running in the cold.
Aunt Sarah got this little something from me:
She’s a college student, so I wanted to give her money, but didn’t want to be lame about it. And we’re big fans of Forest Gump, so I think she liked :)
She got Avery and I a year membership to Echo (the aquarium & science center in Burlington) We’ve already gone once – they had reindeer during our visit too!
Avery and Grampy got eachother ‘shooting things’ as Avery calls them.
We’ve since had fun making targets with stacking cups.. so much fun for when we’re stuck inside this winter.
Avery even got a viewfinder. He looked inside at safari animals, and says, ‘How’d he get in there?!’ haha
And a few hours later, Avery’s loot looked like this!
I know, it looks overboard, but it wasn’t. He needed some warm clothes, socks and underwear, and a new lunch box, so Santa brought those. We were also using our 1985 versions of board games, so he was due for some that didn’t have faded colored cards that we couldn’t tell red from orange. He got a few travel essentials, like the blue lap table, coloring book, preschool activities book, and three new movies (because honestly, we need a break from watching the same ones we have over and over!! haha).
Then we piled into the car and visited both sets of Grandparents, came home and had a yummy Xmass dinner together.
Then after Avery was in bed (tired boy!), Steve and I exchanged gifts. I was spoiled with a massage gift card (which I already used… ahhhh so nice!) and I made him a blanket (cuz he’s always cold!)
Such a fun holiday. Avery is at such a fun age that this Christmas was even more fun than the last… just keeps getting better and better. Now if I could only say that for Avery’s sleeping and eating habits!
Did I mention we had fun? :-P