I have to say, I really impressed myself with my Christmas cheer this year. I mean going from bah hum bug last year and not even having a tree to all-out decorating the house and just really embracing this jolly season.
Now don't go getting too excited, it's not like I hung a wreath from the grill of my car and blared Christmas music non-stop at any point over the holidays...that's just not me. Buuuuut we did go and get ourselves a real tree (even if I only half-assed decorated it), introduced C-man to Buddy the Elf & his friend Alpine the Reindeer, wrapped our hearts out while watching as many Christmas movies as possible, lumped four Christmases in four days, watched Cruz's first holiday program at school (little man rocked it!), took in a movie on Christmas Eve Eve (wouldn't mind making that a new tradition), adopted not only one but TWO families from Angels Among Us, wore our matching "Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animals" shirts and found out we will have a new little Fuchser babe this time next year care of my brother and his wifey.
Phew. I'm tired just typing all of that.
Without further adieu, I figure this is as good a time as any to recap this past little holiday of ours. Let's get started with part one.
Cutting Down Our Tree (first real tree for the Mango family)
Ok, so we didn't get all Griswold and trek deep into the woods, selecting our tree straight from the ground or anything. But we did make our way to the local nursery to pick out a tree that was freshly chopped from their tree farm just that morning. Basically the same thing, right? Right. Little man had a blast with the large train and decor. We couldn't catch up with him darting all over the place as he just had to check everything out.
Aftewards, at the gas station, he decided to sneak the biggest piece of jerky ever and it was out of the container and in his mouth before I could even swipe my card for his Gatorade.
Introducing Buddy the Elf (and his pal Alpine the Reindeer)
We had a great time introducing the elf to our little guy this year. While he wouldn't understand all of the crazy, fun Elf of the Shelf concepts you see plastered all over Pinterest, he did enjoy waking up and looking for his "elfie" every morning....and his mama had fun picking out locations for it. That is, when I remembered and wasn't left scrambling to throw a bag of marshmallows into a bowl for its make-believe bath. (Man, I had big plans for those marshmallows...)
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree (school program)
His daycare concert was just about the cutest thing ever. I doubt I have to tell you that little man stole the show and sang louder and prouder than the rest of the kiddos. Just look at him belting it out next to the little dude with his finger up his nose. Future JT? ... Maybe.
Santa...I Know Him! (first time seeing Santa)
Call me the worst mama ever, but this year - yes my boy's third Christmas - was the first year we brought Cruz to see Santa. In my defense, the first year he was like a month old, so that just seemed silly. And last year, we tried, I promise we did. But after waiting in line for a half hour we finally got close enough for C to see Santa and he was not having it. At that point, I didn't even want to try and risk a full-on meltdown. Therefore, when we were invited to brunch at my sister & BIL's country club, we jumped at the chance to get Cruz on the old man's lap. And he loved it. Plus he actually told Santa that he wanted a "big truck" for Christmas - prior to the exact minute he was on Santa's lap all he would tell us is that he wanted "presents", but once he was put on the spot, I tell you the boy delivered and knew he had to let the big guy know what he wanted. Smart kid.
Holiday Angels (adopting an Angels Family)
One of the traditions our little family has been doing for the past four years is adopting an Angels Among Us family for the holidays. I just love getting my spirit on and heading to the shops to pick out some clothes, toys and much needed supplies for these families. This year, not only did we adopt within our family of three, but the brothers/sisters/in laws on my husband's side decided to forego buying silly gifts for each other for a white elephant and instead put that money to adopting another family AND my parents adopted another family as well. Seriously love them all for doing this! If you've been reading for some time, you know that Angels is near and dear to my heart and I've love being involved with this organization for the past five+ years. And I cannot tell you how special it felt to deliver the gifts to these families and hear how excited they were to receive them and be able to provide a better holiday for their kiddos. Tis the reason for the season.
At risk of this being an even longer post than it already is, I will stop there and continue on with more holiday festivities manana.
Hope you all had an amazing holiday season...just typing this all out makes me want to go back and relive it all again!