I'm trying to get all caught up (a week into January) so here is the last "dump" post of Christmas happenings. The girls loved their "official" meeting with Santa Claus. We actually met him 4 different times (ward christmas party, train, for portraits, and in San Francisco), which, yes, was overkill, but I just HAD to take them in their dresses to get portraits done because I love having these every year! Rose was totally over her Santa fear by this point and was waving and beaming at Santa (who waved back and winked) while we were standing in line. When it was our turn, she ran straight to him and climbed right up to babble at him. She was very serious about the whole thing and wouldn't smile for a photo at all, but she was pleased as punch about meeting Santa this time. And he was such a nice, jolly old man. I honestly love that there are so many kind old men out there who keep these beards that I would think would be awful and perform this role year after year. They truly ARE saints, even if they aren't THE Saint Nick.
Christmas jammies from Grandma Cece. The girls loved them but were being so silly when we asked to take a picture.
Christmas lights going up in the girls' bedroom. They loved it.
I got invited to my first ever Ugly Sweater Christmas Cookie & White Elephant Gift Exchange and it was so much fun! We each brought 2 dozen cookies, then swapped and this is the tray I ended up with. I brought Double Lemon Cookies (second from top right). I loved the snickerdoodles with caramel or something inside (bottom right) and the hot cocoa cookies (second from top left), although honestly everything was delicious! And I came home home with one of those coloring books for adults, which has been kind of a fun and interesting thing to try out.
Clara came home from preschool every single day with some new Christmas craft. This angel ornament with her picture was my very favorite.
Clara's preschool Christmas party was cute. I am the room mom which means I get to go to all the parties and help, which is cool because parents aren't invited to the Christmas or Valentine's Day parties. We had a little feast with sandwiches and bags of fruit and juice and cookies and then the kids took turns being Santa and delivering a present to another child and practicing how to say Merry Christmas to each other as a polite holiday greeting. Then they all opened the presents which were stools/crates that the parents had decorated back in November.
Our ward was split shortly before we moved into it so there are still a lot of strong connections between the two wards. One of the things that happens for at least Halloween and Christmas is that some of the moms put on these elaborate craft parties. We missed the Halloween one, but the Christmas one was very cool with a cookie decorating station (the girls went insane over all the sprinkles and I just let them dump as much as they wanted for once in their lives), a cake walk where they could win mini candy canes (Clara won twice, which amazes me because I never have luck with that kind of stuff - better take her to Vegas!), a "snowball fight" with a ridiculous amount of cottonballs, some kind of dance thing (not sure what was happening as I was chatting with some other moms during this one), and a Christmas movie screening (Disney's Prep & Landing). It was fun and a great way to spend an afternoon chatting with friends and getting to know new people who are in the other ward.
And that's pretty much it for what our December was like this last year. No wonder I felt exhausted all last month!