Zack’s school board for December. His first chalk drawing of the semester. He doesn’t teach drawing anymore, whatashame, but I think he needs to make the chalk drawings a regular thing again.

Last year, last minute, I decided to let the girls pretend Santa was real, so they put out cookies, and we wrapped matching notebooks and put them under the tree.

The girls decided to pretend to believe in Santa again this year. But more intensely. They know he isn’t real and they know the ends and outs of the myth, the truth behind Saint Nick, and why I think the Santa schtick is rubbish. But I told them I’d play along this year but that I wouldn’t lie to them.

I severely overcompensated with deep discussions about the true story of Christmas.

All that to say! – we began the Santa biz with a visit to him. Har Har.

We were out of town on Christmas day this year, so we celebrated with Grandma a week early. It was wonderful. Movies, music, baking, shopping, games, and our traditional cinnamon rolls.

The girls were in a play at church. They didn’t have lines, but they did sing some songs on stage. We couldn’t see Rae at all so I’m not sure she sang along, but she said she had fun. Her face tells a different story, but I’m going to believe her.

Mae performed in her Christmas recital just before the winter break.

She was incredible and, I believe, thoroughly enjoyed her last recital. I’m so proud of her!!!!

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Charlotte with Zack’s sister, Sarah. She took us all to Micadenville – a Christmas town – on Christmas Eve Eve. We picked up food to eat along the way and watched Home Alone while we waited in the very long line of cars. (We also had time to begin Home Alone 2!) It was so pretty. There isn’t really anywhere to see good lights where we live, so it was a real treat for us.

Christmas morning we found that Sarah Claus had gifted everyone everything they wanted and all the things they never knew they wanted. She has THE. MOST. generous heart. 

She gifted Rae her sole request – a Pimki Pop (she calls it a “pop pop”) and she even found a nutcracker that cracks nuts for Miss Mae!

Daniel kept making us laugh as he took photos for us.

Christmas afternoon, we went down the road a bit to visit my aunt! The girls didn’t call her Grandma Penny at all on this visit. I think they just know her enough on her own now. I like that they’ve seen her so many times in their lives.

We received a double treat when my cousin, Luke, showed up! He lives in the Florida Keys –  and – I haven’t seen him in somewhere around 16 years. He’s so calm and happy.

We LOVE spending time with my aunt and uncle. They’re incredible people. We never seem to get enough time with them. I’m not sure there is a limit that would make us content though…

We ended such a wonderful Christmas with a huge meal full of traditional Christmas food made by Uncle Jonathan and pre-bed story read by the wonderful, incredible, fantastic, most beloved Aunt Sarah.

Thank you, everyone, who helped make this December so full of Christmas memories! I had no expectations for this holiday season and I’m not sure I could have imagined just how great it would be!