Just like we celebrated Halloween throughout all of October and Thanksgiving throughout all of November, we also celebrated Christmas throughout all of December. I love all the holiday celebrations in the last quarter of the year! Prior to having kids, I couldn’t have cared less about Halloween and Christmas. I loved Thanksgiving, but generally only spent one day a year celebrating it. Drawing out the holidays and enjoying them with kids makes them, well, so much more enjoyable! I’m actually quite sad now that they are all over and we have a long stretch of winter and spring months ahead of us with few holiday celebrations.
We started preparing for Christmas right after Thanksgiving by decorating our house and visiting the large tree in Fashion Island. We also briefly saw Santa for the first time this season, but only at a safe 6-foot distance. Both girls (especially Vivian) still hated Santa this year.
Fashion Island Christmas Tree
Then we attended our community’s “whimsical candy land” holiday event, where we again saw Santa, and where, again, both girls gave him fearful looks and didn’t dare get too close. We also toured our neighborhood to see the lights with friends.
Baker Ranch Santa Picture
Baker Ranch Holiday Lights Crew
We saw the Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade, which has become sort of an annual tradition for us.
Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights
Viv showed off her choreographed singing and dancing talents at two holiday performances at her preschool, which were adorable.
Daddy and Mama with Vivian After Her Preschool Performance
In the middle of December, we flew up to the Bay Area to celebrate Christmas in Livermore and the Napa Valley.
On Christmas weekend, days before Santa’s big arrival, I took Vivian to see her second Disney On Ice performance (Follow Your Heart). We had a really nice time, until Vivian threw a giant fit on our way out of the Honda Center when I wouldn’t buy her a ridiculous $30 light-up spinning toy.
Mama and Vivian Date Night at Disney On Ice
Always Follow Your Heart
We spent one morning at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center. While there, we attended a kids’ “Wild Tales” reading/crafting/hiking program that was a lot of fun and something that I definitely want to take the kids back to while I’m on maternity leave next year.
Painting at Wild Tales
Making a Snowflake Ornament at Wild Tales
Hiking at Wild Tales
Unexpectedly, we watched the final SpaceX rocket launch of 2017. Our kitchen window/backyard views were awesome.
SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch on 12/22/17 From Vandenberg Air Force Base
Finally, we celebrated Christmas proper with church and gifts and, lastly, a visit from Nana.
In Our Christmas Best. Lillian is wearing a dress I wore as a baby 36 years ago.
What a fun ending to our very busy 2017. I know 2018 is going to be even crazier, but even more fun, too. Happy Christmas everyone – and Happy New Year, too!