Christmas is coming!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. These songs are running through my head as I write this post.

Christmas decorations are up. I am especially excited for this year’s decor because 1) We got a new 9-foot Christmas tree to fill our vaulted ceilings, and 2) We finally have a fireplace to decorate. I always dreamed of having a fireplace with the stockings hung and lit garland, and it’s come true. Here’s a picture of each:

photo 1 photo 2

Bridget met Santa Claus again this year Although this year’s meeting was less enjoyable for her than last. Our plans were to wait an hour or more in line for the mall Santa on a Saturday, but during a spontaneous weekday trip following a doctor appointment, we opted to take the photo then since there was no line. Bridget was not dressed in her Christmas best, she sat on his lap for two seconds, and I’m out $22. But, I will love looking back on her evolving relationship with Santa.

Bridget Santa

Our family ornament is on display! Each year, we buy an ornament that represents our year as a family. I particularly like the family personalized ones, and we went with the penguins this year. Bridget’s current favorite book is Elmo Loves You and there’s a page with penguins that she always stops on, points, and smiles. This ornament will help me remember those simple, yet meaningful memories.

photo 3

We welcomed our newest addition to the family: Nipper Snow Bum (we call him Nipper for short).

**CAUTION: If you are a child who Santa Claus will visit this year, please stop reading this post immediately.**

I’ve seen the many posts, stories, and ads for Elf on the Shelf, and wanted to join in the fun. Nipper joined the family last weekend, and has been making his rounds through the house each day since. Bridget loves “saying” his name and finding him each morning.

Quick side story about Nipper: Before I had read the book and properly completed my research on the dos and donts of Elf on the Shelf, I was excited to share with my in-laws that we had bought an Elf. After slipping that we bought Nipper (meaning Santa didn’t send him) in front of my 6-year-old nephew, Jacob, he reassured me that, “Don’t worry, Aunt Shannon. We don’t have one. It’s just a scam for people to make money.” Again, he’s 6. I couldn’t stop laughing, and he made me feel a little better for unknowingly letting the secret out. However, the throw-her-head-back-laugh Bridget does whenever she finds him is easily worth the $30, so I guess I’ve been scammed, and I’m okay with it.

We visited the Candy Cane Christmas at Spring Mist FarmsI’ve posted about this local farm before, and cannot say enough good things about it. It’s so close to our house, and offers year-round seasonal activities for kids. In December, their event is called Candy Cane Christmas. It’s $4 per child and $3 per adult, and includes a visit to their barn filled with Christmas tree displays of all different themes, train sets, and city displays. Then, for $4 more, Bridget got to sit with Santa in his workshop and build a wooden toy train that he then wood-burned her name and year into. Finally, their barn is open to view all the animals, including Charley the camel, horses, sheep, and Santa’s reindeer. It’s just the cutest place, inexpensive, and family-owned. We are becoming regulars, and I encourage you to visit and take your kids. Don’t expect extravagance – it’s pretty much exactly what I just described, but there’s something about local, simple events that fit the spirit of the holiday season.

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