I don’t think there could be more Christmas excitement at our house this year. We now have two young children who understand that Santa’s coming AND they’re getting presents from him and others AND they need to put out cookies and carrots for the reindeer and OH. MY. GOODNESS. are they hyped! Their excitement’s grown daily the past 22 days, fueled by Christmas music (C’s Pentatonix-obsessed), the Lego advent calendar (best gift ever–C loves and I get 45+ minutes of him sitting still each day), nursery school Christmas concert and parties, holiday cards (E fawns over every baby), and the centerpiece of our house decor: the Christmas tree.
This year we took the kids to Butler’s Orchard to cut our tree–a tradition Charlie and I both recall fondly from childhood (though not without amusing adventures on my side… like a poorly-tied tree sliding off the car), but something we hadn’t done yet as our own family. Parent confession: We also loved the idea of an event that occupies a few hours of the kids’ time on a weekend.
We went at noon on a very sunny day = horrible for photographs. Blown-out white sky and lots of face shadows. I did bring my camera, but the intent was to capture the memories, not take stunning photos.
A tripod + Photoshop to get rid of the background photo bombers = a decent family pic!
We had a great time, and C’s convinced we found THE perfect tree. My ‘photographer side’ says, next time go earlier and bring bribery treats for the kids. But my ‘mom side’ says, who wants to rush out the door on a Saturday? And, don’t let them expect m&m’s every time they see my camera.
Decorating the tree the next night was a hoot. Charlie and I worked hard to keep the tree standing and ornaments intact while the Tasmanian Devil and Energizer Bunny whirled around us. C would hang an ornament, then E would run by and grab/hit the branch to knock it right off. They both kept diving into the ornament boxes, which we put a barrier in front of (they went over it, of course). Given it was all-hands-on-deck experience for Charlie and me, I took only a few shots.
Yep, Ellie’s taking a phone call on the Clara the Nutcracker ornament.
This next one: A preview to their E’s college years? This isn’t staged. She was really into fake drinking of out of that shot-size Solo cup…
Amidst the chaos, we wanted to make Carter feel special–we’re in a stretch where we need to ensure we give him adequate attention, because when we don’t, the resulting behavior is terrifying… (combine his increasing independence with the constant monitoring his troublemaker sister requires, and sometimes we forget he’s only four and still needs cuddles). He was SO excited to put the star on top and told everyone he did so the following day.
Ah yes, back to normal. Toys all over the floor and we’re back to tumbling…
A more peaceful view the next weekend, with the skirt on, train my dad passed down to me running, and a fire going. Ready for Christmas!