Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lather Up

I am shocked! shocked I tell you...that Christmas is 9 days away. I'm still in the middle of my learning curve of being the mom with the magic at Christmas-time, and every year it creeps up on me earlier and earlier. But fortunately for my sake, I married into the family whose mother made Christmas a science. She teaches classes for crying out loud! And so we're still sponging off of her traditions for now, plus adding a few of our own. Here's how we're getting lathered up for the holidays around here.

Dear Mom, I would be sponging off of you if we lived in the same town. I miss you. Love, me.

Aunties and Grandma took the mutts to the Nutcracker Ballet! Complete with a preliminary tea party to kick off the event. Check out the little waiter dude on the left. Is he for real? He's like a mini-adult, which is why they hired him to be a waiter. And plus, baby in a bonnet! I'm salivating just looking at her...

Santa visited the ward sugar-fest. I missed Vanilla Wafer, but was able to catch my youngest butting in line to get to Santa. No Santa fear in that kid. And in the other kid (on the right)? No Santa doubt. I wonder if I'm doing her any favors at this point.

She's convinced she has a specific elf assigned to her and keeps writing Santa to ask if she can know who her elf is. Adorable right?

Here's our new favorite holiday tradition, the Live Nativity. This was started the year we moved out to the semi-country by our neighbor. He takes care of his horses and chickens and other animals from a golf cart because he's paralyzed and in a wheelchair! He does more manual labor than I do and I have working, running, legs. Amazing!

There's something essential about being in a barn, smelling the hay, hearing the animals pawing the ground, and thinking about a Heavenly King coming into the world all humble and sweet. I heart it.

Here's Grandma Cozy again at her finest. This tradition stems all the way to The Mister's childhood. Gingerbread houses made from graham crackers. She boils down raw sugar till it's hot and sticky and we glue the sides together, then use frosting and candy to do the rest. They are sturdy little suckers and my kids had a blast!

Here's a fun Christmas tradition I learned at my Mother-in-Law's Christmas Class years ago. The Christmas Quilt! For years I have been meaning to start this tradition, thinking "After Christmas I'll buy some fabric on sale, and make a simple block quilt, and have that be the Christmas Quilt".

This year I said: "Get real Mrs. Olsen. You'll never get around to making that quilt before THIS Christmas". So instead I pulled out an old tartan fleece picnic blanket, christened it, and let it do it's magic.

Magic what? Every night the quilt rotates to a different bed where we all gather. Whoever got the quilt picks a Christmas story to read from our basket of Christmas related stories.

So much fun!

Hope your holidays are going great!

Mrs. Olsen


Wade and Marilyn said...

I loved this entry. I love Christmas. I even bought the fabric for the Christmas quilt. Maybe you can help me make it this year.

The Flat Broke Foodie said...

I love the quilt tradition. Too late for this year (no moolah for a new blankie and not Christmasy old blankies) but we'll do it next year!

Lee Family said...

Now that's a memory to remember. LOVE IT. photographed AND journaled - Awesome! I love the live nativity. Sometimes I wish it was us again that got to believe, wonder, anticipate. I took my piano students home Wednesday night and we drove through Winchester Downtown and I told them a trick my sister taught me, "If you squint your eyes, it looks like the lights are just floating and you can't see the trees." They thought it was the coolest tip ever.

paula said...

I love Christmas and think one of the funnest things about having a family of our own is carrying on the old traditions we did as kids. I love the Christmas quilt tradition and I'm going to be looking for some clearanced fabric after Christmas to start this in my home next year. Thanks for the idea!

I would love to see a live nativity. I wonder if they do one around here. hmmmm-I'll be checking into that. Your kids are adorable by the way.

Anonymous said...

Our oldests must be of an age--same wants for presents, pretty much.

We have a live nativity here, and it's awesome. They (the 7th Day Adventist Church that runs it) even imports camels from a member in Spokane. Real camels! Close enough to pet!

So many fun traditions!

Holly said...

I just felt Christmas all over again reading this! Thanks for doing such a great job of recording everything!