Happy Christmas

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.

Santa Came!

Santa Babies

Nana Came!

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!

About Carrie

I'm a Midwest transplant in SoCal...spending my time exploring, questioning, reading, writing, baking, skiing, and running.
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3 Responses to Happy Christmas

  1. It really warms my heart to see how you stretch out the season and enjoy it soooo much with your kids. I loved your first paragraph about stretching out the holidays. I remember how you were so determined to get a list of items accomplished B.C. before children because of some inner wistfulness that once children arrived adventures would no longer be available and doors of opportunities would close to you. How great to see you enjoying all the possibilities with kids, embracing them all. And what is extremely more important, you are aware of the joys while you are experiencing them and not only in retrospect. As for the dreary holiday-less months ahead…? Looking back, do not be sad that it is over, smile that it happened. And knowing you… you will find plenty of fun things to go to and see in the next several months. Ah, yes. Then another tiny time consuming adventure will launch and there will be lots to celebrate.

    • Carrie says:

      Yes, the holidays are much better with kids!

      We are SO VERY GLAD that we made our B.C. list and accomplished so much on it because there are definitely adventures that we can no longer go on and doors of opportunity have indeed closed. Yes, there are new adventures and opportunities, but you can’t compare the two. My biggest piece of advice for newly married couples is to wait as long as possible before having kids and enjoy as much time together as possible. Kids are wonderful, but they change EVERYTHING, as you know!

  2. Robini says:

    That Santa Babies shot is to die for 🙂 And, love Lillian in your old dress. I’ll admit I am less enthused about the holidays now with kids (so much work!) but it does sound like you’ve found some amazing activities to take them to. And a visit from Nana is not a thing to be missed!

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