Merry (belated) Christmas-Day 12!

Hello Friends,

So, challenge failed? I mean, technically I didn’t post all the way through day 12. And then I took days off, right at prime posting time. Regardless of how late we are, we here at the D3 family wish you a Merry Christmas-for the whole season! We spent the Christmas days visiting with family, spanning from the Northwest suburbs to the far South suburbs. We clocked time with both Wife’s side of the family and mine. We managed to be at home for Santa to visit Christmas morning though!

We have spent the days since recovering from all the holiday fun, and taking care of a few things. A trip to our favorite pediatric dentist, Dr. Johnny, provided some motivation to sit down and write. I also have to tell all you Chicago folks about a children’s shoe store where we shopped. So no shortage of material as we wind down 2017, yet still that lack of time to get to it all!

Twelve Day Experiment-Day 11

Hello Friends,

Man, it is amazing how the right holiday activities and some sleep brought my attitude right back in line. Wife and I stayed up last night and put our Christmas cards on display. Our dining room built-in went from this:

Which isn’t terrible. It appropriately has own Nativity Scene, but lacks holiday zing. To this:

Its pretty cool to be able to cover the glass doors with all the cards from family and friends. Looking over the pictures and reading the messages brought me right back from yesterday’s funk.

Do you see your card in there? Look closely. We posted all of our cards, they were really stacking up!

After getting all of these up, Wife and I lay down for a long winter’s nap. And it was great to not set an alarm and not hurry to wake up. The girls even stayed in bed until 7:15 – unheard of!

And so today I am back in the Christmas Spirit! The girls are still a bit squirrely, but I know it’s just the excitement. And they are no different than their classmates (I compared notes with some other parents). We are feeling good, and I hope you are feelin’ it too, ’cause Christmas is comin’!

Twelve Day Experiment-Day 10

Hello Friends,

Today’s post is a bit mellow and kinda grinchy. So if you’re having a really great day, maybe skip this one, I won’t get upset.

The problem started at a picked-over store where I saw people grabbing things to put under the tree, looking a bit too dazed to put actual thought into the gifts. Then there was this scene with consumers lining up in anticipation of the big-box store opening.

And this ia a typical scene in the minutes before it opens. For some reason it felt all wrong today, reminding me about the bad side of Christmas.

We all know the not-so-great side of Christmas: super-commercialized, mountains of toys, children greedily tearing through paper type of situation. We try hard to steer the girls away from this type of Christmas. It’s hard though.

The girls finished classes and were squirrely this afternoon. At one point Sweetie knocked over, and broke, our Advent calendar. It required some deeps breathes and a few reminders that “accidents happen”. I had a moment of worry that this was a preview of the 25th. But an unfounded worry. Historically, the girls are gracious and behave well enough. Hopefully, we get back in touch with our Christmas spirit and back on the holiday train tomorrow. We could use a fresh dose of “ba-hoo-door-ay” right about now.

Twelve Day Experiment-Day 9

Hello Friends,

This week has flown by for us. We have wrapped up swimming class and piano, and classes wrap tomorrow. That means classroom celebrations and Santa’s Workshop and overall long days. Whew!

One of the highlights of Sweetie’s week was the Christmas Concert last night. It was your typical school pageant with each class singing two songs and parents clamoring over each other to shoot videos.

Sweetie was very excited to wear her new Christmas dress. While holiday wear was not mandated, “Sunday best” was the recommended dress code. I think she nailed it. It was very cute to see the kids dressed up and singing loud and proud.

Tomorrow is a half day, then we break for two weeks. We are already brainstorming the activities to occupy these little ladies. Not to get ahead of ourselves, we have to get through tomorrow first! We hope you all are wrapping up your weeks well also. I’m sure everyone is looking forward to the long weekend.

Twelve Day Experiment-Day 6

Hello Friends,

Are you all having as much fun with this as I am? At times this challenge has felt like yet one more thing that I need to do each day. Overall, though, it’s helping me stay present during this fast moving holiday season. Our Advent calendar has filled up fast.

Our family decorates post-Thanksgiving, flexible anytime after turkey. We are trying hard to keep the girls focused on each holiday in order. This is getting harder each year.

I don’t think we go overboard with our decorations, just enough. And after being out of the house for last Christmas, our decorations feel right on.

Big JC, the reason for the season

One thing that is steadily increasing is our Star Wars themed decorations. I’m not just pointing these out because of the new movie. We’ve been amassing ornaments and such for about 12 years now.

This years’ exciting addition is the Death Star tree topper. For those of you who don’t know, it plays the beginning seconds of the theme song as well as the beginning of the Galactic Empire theme. And before any conjecture starts, let me be clear that this tree star came home with Wife after she conspired with a co-worker – not my doing.

Again, it’s so nice being back in our home for the holidays. And the decorations go well with all of the woodwork and renovation in the house. Yet one more thing in our lives that stokes my gtatitude.

Twelve Day Experiment-Day 3

Hello Friends,

It’s getting late in the day, and you may have worried that I was going to fail my challenge on just the third day. No worries though, here we are. We just ran a bit late with swim lessons and meeting Wife for dinner and watching “Elf on the Shelf” videos and bath time and such. Two photos today; here’s our opening shot:

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You know, looking at this picture this big makes me think that’s a whole lotta Cricket and a whole lotta Santa. More like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa!”. I guess this post really should have been yesterday’s post. Second Day of Christmas, two turtle doves, two pictures of Santa – the correlation would have been witty, no? Oh well.

CETSC

Clearly two different Santas from two different venues. Cricket couldn’t tell the difference, or really didn’t care. When she first glimpsed Santa this year she would not go near him. After a day, though, she was all about him. While I think she liked seeing Santa, she used the visits to reiterate to him exactly what she would like to see under the tree. It’s been great seeing her get into the holiday spirit and embrace the different symbols. And thankfully she asked Santa for some troll toys, not a pony or a yacht or a Red Rider b-b gun.

I hope your week is ending well. Our girls spent some time at Santa’s Workshop today at school and were showing signs of fatigue come bed time. The next week and a half might be a bit trying, but hey, ’tis the season!

Twelve Day Experiment-Day 1

Hello Friends,

I’m going to give myself a “Twelve Days of Christmas” challenge, attempting to post at least a picture of the girls every day until Christmas. This serves many purposes: First, it forces me to pay attention to the blog during this busy season. Second, it ends the year with a bunch of posts and content. Third, it gives you all a big dose of what you want – pictures of the girls! So here we go:

This is Cricket attempting to skate at the St. Viator WinterFest. And learning once again how hard it can be to run with the big girls (Sweetie and a friend are skating just out of the shot).

We all hope your holiday season is going well so far. I’ll share more of our holiday adventures tomorrow, but now it’s time to wrap some gifts!