Holiday Preparations (long)

I am such a procrastinator! I had all my plans for the holidays ready to go by mid-November thanks to my Christmas Planner. I had my December Daily album organized and materials were gathered and prepared. Most of the gifts had been purchased. I thought I wouldn’t have much to do except enjoy. Boy, was I wrong.

As I was making the last batch of cookies at 11:00 tonight (note: I started writing this post late on December 23rd but I think it will actually post on Decebmer 24th!) I realized that being organized only works if you are NOT a procrastinator! Sigh…better luck to me next year! Anyway, I think I am ready and all will be well!

But, in an effort not to forget all the wonderful little things that have happened over the past few weeks, here’s what we have been up to!

* I think the 12 Days of Christmas posts on Sharing Memories Scrapbooking went well. I truly appreciate the comments from good friends and supporters! It did take up a lot of time getting the project tutorials and posts ready. Next year I will start in October for that type of project!

* Shane and I had a WONDERFUL time at the holiday party at the Banff Springs! The food and party was amazing, our room was lovely, the scenery was breathtaking. It made for such a relaxing break before Christmas! This was the view from our window when we woke up on Sunday morning

* I tried several new recipes this year from Kraft’s Holiday How To Centre:

Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies (that’s what I was baking tonight!)

and Cranberry-Almond Biscotti

They all turned out great after some minor issues. I always thought I was a good baker (and not such a good cook) but man did I ever have troubles this year – even with good old Rice Krispie squares! Yikes! But Grayson loved helping and we finally have lots of treats to share and enjoy over the holidays.

* We enjoyed Grayson’s holiday concert and craft night. He and his classmates sang some wonderfully joyful tunes and we had snacks and built mini gingerbread houses.

I’m so glad I got a few pictures of this dear little house before Grayson dropped it on the ground and broke it to pieces. He was heartbroken so we made another one the next day.

I am so pleased at the wonderful Pre-school he is going to. They did so many fun activites and crafts in preparation for the holidays.
They wrote and sent letters to Santa, and how great it was when Grayson got his letter FROM Santa in the mail! They have been doing lots of Christmas themed activities that still incoporate learning outcomes like listening and learning about the 5 senses with Gingerbread men.

And he has brought home some wonderful keepsake ornaments and decorations.

Now he has been off from school since last Friday and is already getting a little restless. I have some crafts ready to go for next week when he is bored out of his mind! OH…and our Advent Calendar and George our very own Elf have been very fun daily activities that help keep us focused! Only one day left on the calendar now!

* We all got our Holiday haircuts (well, except for Shane who has no hair!) All went well and we are pleased with the results in time for the holidays. Grayson got a #3 on the sides and #4 on the top and gel for the first time. So grown-up!

I had 2.5 inches taken off all around and Sam had his FIRST HAIRCUT! (just a little trim as I couldn’t bear to part with all his blond curls!)

* We took the boys to visit Santa on Monday which went very well. We went to Northland Village Shoppes where the REAL Santa comes to visit, not just one of his helpers. Grayson was quite fine and told Santa what he wanted. Sam didn’t cry, but he wasn’t too thrilled either.

* I have of course been decorating and cleaning. The tree has all kid-friendly ornaments this year, which is good because Sam has tried to destroy several already! I HAD to clean up my scrap area because it is in the rec room and that’s where we decided to put up the tree this year so we have more room to open gifts and relax on Christmas day. It took me three days of tidying and organizing to make it presentable! (no photos…I have to add those to my must-take list!)

* We were sick AGAIN…Shane with a wicked sore throat and me with a cold (just a generic one…not a sinus cold thank goodness)

* I am taking the time to go through and print the rest of my Project 365 photos. I have to admit that I fell off the photo-a-day wagon in mid-August, but I still have most of the days covered. I plan on using a few of my favorite/seasonal photos of the boys for the days I didn’t take a photo. Overall I am pretty pleased with myself for mostly keeping up and it is a stunning account of an entire year in our life! So worth while. If you didn’t do Project 365 for 2009, you can do something similar for next year – check out Becky Higgins Project Life.

* And we’ve been trying to relax a bit and have some fun in the midst of all the craziness. Shane took Grayson to see The Princess and the Frog on Saturday, and we plan to make our big family gingerbread house tomorrow. We also are going to take a drive to see some Christmas lights and maybe take in ZooLites at the Calgary Zoo on Boxing Day night. And I am bound and determined to get out and do some sledding with Grayson over the holidays.

* So besides the Gingerbread house, tomorrow I will finish wrapping up the gifts, tidy up a little and get ready for a wonderful and relaxing Christmas Day. We’ll hang the stockings and I will go to Christmas Mass with dad after the boys are in bed. Then I’m sure I will have visions of sugarplums and other nice things all night long!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and that you make lots of memories to enjoy for years to come! So from my family to yours…

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