We continued the advent calendar tradition this year, and Ava was so excited to figure out what we had planned each day (Rylan was pretty much just along for the ride). I didn't think that I had documented this year's activities with as many photos as last year, but as it turns out, this post is quite long (and has taken me forever to finish).
I love these sweet bear jammies. Especially on these two babies.
I didn't manage to get any pictures of this, but we loved participating in the donation projects at both kids' schools. At Ava's school, each class donated a fully-decorated tree as well as gifts to a family in need. And Rylan's school collected gifts and toiletries for Syrian refugees. My hope is to add even more charitable activities to our calendar next year.
We probably needed to go over the nativity story a bit more, because I don't seem to remember the Fairy Godmother being present for the birth of Jesus.
The cutest little candy canes ever.
This is definitely one of my favorite mother-daughter traditions.
The TCU alumni group in Dallas organized a "Brunch with Santa" event at the Arboretum this year, and I signed up immediately upon seeing the e-mail announcement. If nothing else, I figured it would be an easy way to cross off the "picture with Santa" to-do item. And man was I right...this was the easiest Santa photo session ever. No long line, a great Santa, and a nice photographer that let us do a retake.
Photo 1 (You can see why we needed a retake.):
Photo 2 (A smirk and a cheesy smile. I'll take it.):
We also enjoyed the food...
The TCU-themed Christmas crafts (yes!).
The 12 Days of Christmas displays.
And the reindeer.
This Christmas activity is definitely a repeater.
This year we started the tradition of getting little trees for the kids' rooms, and I hope to add ornaments each year.
I found these ornaments, made from magazines, at Tesoro in Austin, and I'm so in love with them.
We put out a few other holiday decorations as well.
Ava was very serious about her letter writing. And Santa delivered on most everything...except that "ghost book with kitties in it." (What on earth?!)
For the second year in a row, we attended the Dallas Tri Delta Alumni Association's Cookies & Castles event, which benefits The Scottish Rite Children's Hospital. My future fourth generation Tri Delta thoroughly enjoyed the candy extravaganza, and Bunny and Aunt Charlotte were able to join the fun as well.
We joined the Lockwoods for a carriage ride to see the lights in Highland Park. Our carriage ride was canceled last year due to an ice storm, but thankfully the weather cooperated this time around.
It was so much fun, and I would love to make this a tradition.
We got a few new Christmas books this year, including this sweet one:
She worked so hard on these. And the backward Z is everything.
Rylan picked out Squigz for Ava...
And Ava got Rylan a race car set.
I promise it tasted better than it looked.
This craft was such a great Pinterest find…birdseed ornaments. We had some very happy birds (and squirrels) in our yard. My only suggestion would be to not make them as thick as we had some that broke due to being too heavy.
We used my Mimi's recipe :).
We made sure the stockings were hung with care (along with Ava's drawings for Santa), put out the cookies and carrots (one for each reindeer), and read Twas the Night Before Christmas.