This year Mimi made us a great advent calendar. Eleanor has loved pulling out an ornament each day and decorating the tree. She has been saving the very top bell for the ornament on Christmas Eve. She and Eleanor also made all sorts of ginger bread and sugar cookies.
A new tradition we started this year is our own version of Elf on the Self. The night we visited Santa we got a surprise present delivered on our door step and inside it was letter from Santa and our little Elf (Eleanor named her Pearl). This Elf has been amazing! She keeps the girls in check. Each morning the Elf is in a new location and reports back to Santa at night.
A highlight is always going to Temple Square to look at the lights. This year we picked a weekday night so it wasn't crowded and it was really quite warm. All three kids loved the lights and dad got us some hot chocolate at his work afterwards.
And of course we have enjoyed getting all the great Christmas cards from family and friends. I think this just might be one of my favorite things!
We got to visit a few different Santa's this year. We were lucky to catch not only Santa but his friend the Moose as well at Macy's. Jude was passed out in his car seat and he looked so cute I took a photo of him as well.
One of our favorite things to do is go to the Christmas concert at the Cathedral of the Madeline. This year it was just John, Eleanor and myself. I dropped John and Eleanor off about an hour early and they were able to get great seats. Eleanor was pretty excited to see the kids sing and I think she enjoyed hearing a few songs she knew. I tried getting her to stop singing along but she was having too much fun. Half way through the concert Eleanor got really thirsty and wouldn't stop complaining about how dry her mouth was.
Another favorite activity is going to Thanksgiving Point to see the reindeer. This year it was freezing cold! Both the girls were a little disappointed Rudolph wasn't there but they got over it once we saw the ice sculptors. Amelia also found the fence to be pretty entertaining. She kept trying to climb over it to get to the reindeer.
We all had a great time at the ward Christmas party. It was nice being in charge of it this year! The girls were excited to sit on Santa's lap and tell them what they want. Without telling Amelia what to ask for she got on Santa's lap and said, "Santa Claus squinkies". Of course Eleanor had an entire list made in her head and our dear Santa (aka our neighbor) told her he's pretty sure she'll be getting everything she asked for!
Each year we get the kids their own ornament. This year John found Amelia a motorcycle and I found Eleanor a tricycle. Mimi got Jude a hand imprint ornament (still need to photograph it). I've also included a few of my favorite ornaments from years past.
I know there are a few things I am missing but it's late and this is ONE LONG post. So there you have it. Some of our favorites during this great time of the year!