I definitely get caught up in the how Christmas "should be" all sugar plums and roses, but real life is hardly ever perfect. My kids have been fighting and acting like lunatics ever since
forever they got out of school on Friday. I am thinking the complete lack of schedule, less sleep than usual, and a 1000% more sugar in their daily diet isn't helping matters much.
This year for the first time we went to visit the girls' grandparents, Matt's parents, in central Washington right before Christmas. We drove there on Friday and came home on Christmas Eve. Matt's sister and her family were there and his uncle came and we got to visit with his Grandmother, as well as take a big family picture, and that was incredibly special. Matt's sister has a baby who is about 20 months old and so it was the first time all of us, toddler included, were ever together in one place. It was just so nice to all be together as a family, even when it was a bit stressful.
We packed a lot in to our few days at Grandma's house.
We got there right before dark on Friday and conditions were ripe for snowman building.
Then it was time to head back in to decorate Grandma's Christmas tree!
On Saturday the girls decorated their gingerbread houses. We usually make graham cracker "gingerbread" houses and decorate them with tons and tons of candy. This year I bought each of them a house from Costco and called it good. I was pretty worried they would be disappointed in how much less candy they had to work with, but they didn't notice at all. In fact, they even had candy and about 3/4 of the frosting left over when they were done.
Then it was time to bake and decorate cookies! I brought along some sugar cookie dough from my Grandma's recipe and baked them at my mother-in-law's house. Then we all set to work frosting and decorating them. Oh, and of course, I ate them almost as fast as I decorated them.