We had a really nice Christmas this year - it was quiet and we stayed close to home. After Josh's birthday, we start to build momentum for the holiday season and I think Josh now understands when Christmas is coming. He loves the Christmas lights outside and he was pretty excited this year to help decorate the tree. He knows the whole advent calendar routine like the back of his hand - courtesy of a wonderful Playmobil calendar he got for his birthday this year.
Avery has no idea, of course. She's only 8 months old! But I think she enjoyed the festivities nonetheless. I'm still working on traditions for our family, though.
This year, Josh wanted to build a gingerbread house, so we bought a kit and put it together. Brian, our resident framer, put up the house. Josh said he wanted a house that looked like the picture on the box, so I started to decorate the house accordingly. Well, it turned out that it wasn't much fun for Josh to watch Mommy decorate the house, so at that point, I slathered on the icing and let Josh decorate the rest of the house. He loved it. He loved it everyday that he ate bits of it and once his favourite bits were gone, he lost interest. It was fun while it lasted though!
We did a whole "if you want that toy you have to ask Santa" routine, so Josh was pretty excited to see Santa. We visited Santa at the mall and Josh had no problem waiting the 20 or so minutes in line. He wasn't scared of Santa at all and went into a lengthy explanation of the airport toy he wanted that he had just seen at Toys'r'Us. The experienced Santa staff said to sit Avery on Santa's lap without letting her look at him. It worked well and we have a pretty good shot of the kids with Santa (not shown here).
The kids saw Santa again at my company's kid's Christmas party. This time, Avery saw Santa and she did not like what she saw (see below)! It was the standard reaction you would expect when you sit a baby on a strange man's lap.
We visited Bright Nights in Stanley Park twice over the holidays (and managed to forget our camera twice!). The first time, the train was sold out, so we decided to make the trip back there a second time with tickets bought online. It's a pretty spectacular display, even if you don't make it on the train. Josh loved the train ride, though, and wanted to go again after it was over. Maybe next year...
We had a wonderful time spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the Van Dop side of the family this year. We were sad that Dad had to spend the holidays out of commission, but we visited him and tried to make the day as festive as possible.
We hope you and your family had a joyous and peaceful holiday and we wish you a fabulous 2010 - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Our first attempt at building a gingerbread house
Who is this man and why am I sitting on his lap??!!
This is Josh's "I'm going to beat Santa with my bell" face
Christmas Eve with the Van Dop cousins
The 3-year-olds doing an awesome job of opening their presents!
Finally! It's Christmas morning!
Opening our stockings together
Please explain to me how that is a good present, Daddy...
Josh said he really wanted a baby for Christmas, so we obliged. He named it "Baby Avery".
Avery LOVED opening presents - or should I say, Avery LOVED gift wrap!
Even Nikita got in the action
Josh really enjoyed the opening of presents part this year...
...and he didn't mind the gifts inside that much either!