December. This month is never quite long enough for me. I could always go for about nine more days of twinkly lights and holiday movies and that magic, joyous advent anticipation. Being home every day did afford me some extra quality time with the Christmas tree, but still, the month passed in a flash. Are we really chucking the 2021 calendar tomorrow?!

Despite December’s apparent brevity, we were able to make good on most of our holiday traditions. This year I jotted down our favorite activities on slips of paper and tucked them into Juliette’s Christmas countdown garland so as not to lose track.

We made sugar cookies and dried orange garland…

(Juliette got creative with the leftover bits of dough…)

We visited the neighborhood’s beloved Menashee house, with all its Christmas kitsch.

And then Juliette and I took our own drive around West Seattle one night after Isaac was in bed, zig-zagging up and down the blocks in search of our very favorite lights and pit-stopping at 7-11 for hot cocoa.

(I had to bring Isaac back to this sweet little house on 48th during one of our evening walks.)

The rascally elf ran all over the house during the day and then played hide and seek with Juliette when she came home from school.

We shared a holiday meal with our chosen family, in the form of Saturday brunch at the Rusts.

Isaac was very comfortable in Nancy’s lap and eventually dozed off while the grown-ups yukked it up.

Isaac’s first Christmas present!

(He says thanks.)

We rounded out the morning with a game of hide and seek.  Jason…I SEE YOU.

Juliette has decided this year that the jig is up and she doesn’t in fact believe Santa is real, but she still jumped at the chance to visit him at a nearby real estate office on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Shane’s office mailed him a gingerbread kit and so I passed the construction baton to him this year, with Juliette running point on decorations.

And Juliette’s favorite tradition, our annual sleepover by the Christmas tree on the first night of winter break.

My body loves this tradition less and less as I get older, but my heart loves it more and more.

Isaac was not invited to the slumber party, but was welcome to join us early the next morning.

We added a few new things to our 25 days of Christmas, like a hot chocolate bar, with a specific request from Juliette to make it “extra-fancy”.

We’ve added peppermint meringues to our baking repertoire (followed by “take a treat a neighbor”).

And several days of super-simple to-do’s, like “take a picture of Isaac in a Santa hat” and “tell a family member what you’re thankful for” (I’m thankful for those chubby thighs!!!).

“Read a Christmas book.”

And “light a bunch of candles and relax by the fire”, which was done on the evening we were hit with an unexpected power outage.

In other December happenings, I snuck away for a night of kid-freeness with Nancy and La Verne while Shane held down the fort at home.  Long live Cedarbrook!  We hot-tubbed and soul-shared and watched Crazy Rich Asians and You’ve Got Mail while eating ice cream in bed.

No ladies weekend is complete without an outlet mall bonanza.

I bought the kids matching Christmas pajamas and sheesh, my heart.  They might be wearing these till February.  Or June, if Isaac stops growing like a weed.

It snowed for all of eight minutes right before Christmas and Juliette excitedly darted outside to catch a few flakes on her tongue.  She had no idea that we were in for several inches a few days later!

She was thrilled by watching Isaac experience his first snowfall.  He was…not as thrilled.  But he tolerated it.

Juliette dressed to the nines for her school’s Wacky Tacky Day to celebrate the last day before Christmas break.  Girl’s got style!  And an extreme fondness for the color pink.

She put on her Santa hat a week before Christmas and donned it everywhere, even wearing it to bed most nights.

And finally, these two have been so heart-achingly adorable over the past month.  Isaac hasn’t the foggiest idea what Christmas means, but Juliette’s excitement over sharing this season with him is so stinking sweet.  She’s my ultimate partner in magic-making.

Cookies baked, cocoa drank, garland strung…now onto the main event!

One Comment

  1. Val says:

    Kelly, Bravo as usual! I feel connected even though I am far away! I always feel lighter in the heart and have a smile on my face while reading about your family.