Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Traditions and Such

I decided this year I wanted to be better about establishing some set holiday traditions. I'm usually hit or miss each year. Things get busy and then it is Christmas and we haven't done anything that I had hoped to do. I wanted to be better about making a list and trying to fit a few family fun things in each day. Jay told me I live in a Hallmark Channel bubble.

I don't know if other people who blog aren't always truthful or maybe they don't have the wild monkeys I have because it has been a circus. It also doesn't help that Cade is too old to care and Camryn is too young to care. That pretty much leaves me. Jay is supportive but he also wouldn't do the nights activity if I wasn't around. 

I've really wanted to make sure we were focusing on God each night along with a quick fun activity. Especially since Camryn can sing every word of Jingle Bells at ear splitting pitches but doesn't know a singe word to Away in A Manger.   I downloaded this file from etsy and printed them at Staples on cardstock- hoping it would last several holidays. Then a piece of double stick tape got caught on one and ripped it. So much for that. I hung them up across our door frame because I hoped that me looking at them every night during dinner would help me remember. 

I decided to introduce them and our activities at our Welcome Back Joe Elf on the Shelf breakfast. Hanging them ended up being a disaster. Camryn got in my ribbon drawer and strung 500 yards of ribbon all over the house. After we ate I did dishes. Jay and Cade rolled ribbon. We didn't start our activities until the 6th so we had to catch up. Camryn lost interest and was running around. I was screaming to be heard. Awesome. 

Activity #1. I bought window markers thinking it would be a lot of fun. How Camryn wrote on the frame with us standing there I will never know. Now I have a permanent reminder of this idea.  On the window frame. 

Activity #2-Read a Christmas story. I ended up reading a book to myself while she ran around singing Jingle Bells. Cade laid on the floor looking pained. 

Activity #3- Bake Reindeer Cookies. The package came with 2 dozen. The plan was to bake 12 that day and bake. 12 more later on. Camryn woke up from a nap in a foul mood asking for reindeer cookies, which were already gone. We had to bake the other dozen so now I'm short an activity. 

Activity #4-was making hot cocoa. Camryn wanted to jump ahead and color a Christmas picture. We all sat around coloring pictures and drinking coca. It was fun until Camryn chewed the ends off of 3 crayons.

Activity #5- Go to a Christmas party. That one was easy.

Activity #6-Didn't happen. Jay was gone and I needed to finish a Christmas present project. We went in to what I call Emergency Status mode. We do whatever we can to keep Camryn happy. We were supposed to paint ornaments. Not happening without backup. Instead Camryn wanted to color. Great. She "colored" while I did dishes. It turns out she didn't actually color- she bit the tips off of 3 brand new markers. I was bent over picking marker tips off the floor. I also found a chewed up olive and several M&M's. I bought White Chocolate Peppermint ones at Target last week. They are pretty tasty, but Camryn doesn't like them. Of course that doesn't stop her from trying to eat them and then spitting them out. I got her mess cleaned up and went back to my dishes. Then I looked at my kitchen floor. One of the marker tips was stuck to my sock. I had made several steps. If it was still the 30 days of Thankfulness on Facebook I would've had to have posted. Even though I didn't participate I would've told the world how happy I was that Crayola markers are washable since I had blue streaks all over my new tile.

And that was the end of our Advent/Christmas Activities.

I don't think we will get cookies made or watch Frozen or everyone agree on one Christmas movie and all of us sit down to watch it.  The house is back to being a disaster after our live Nativity Sunday night.  I don't know what it is about our church Christmas parties but they destroy my house.  Laundry is piled up, work is crazy and I feel like I'm getting bronchitis.  Also the end of the table we normally eat on was covered with junk from the church party so we all had to switch places.  So much for me being able to see the Advent cards.  I was on the opposite end of our table with my back to them.  I guess chaos is our version of a good old fashioned Shepherd family Christmas.  On the bright side - at least none of our family members will park an RV in our front yard.  But if they did at least we have a brand new septic tank for them to use if their S*****r is full.   

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