It may be 80 degrees outside, but December is officially upon us and with it comes all things Christmas! We've had a fun time so far bringing in the cheer of the season.
Thanksgiving week was so nice and relaxed. After our Thanksgiving lunch at home, we went ahead and set up the Christmas tree and decorations. Then after JB woke up from his nap and had time to explore things for a little bit, we un-decorated a bit. Haha, we are still in a stage where things really need to be edible if they are going to be in arms reach of the kids. Seriously though, Emme had a wonderful time putting ornaments on the tree and putting a few knick-knack things around the house. And both Emme and JB love to play with the Little People Nativity set. My bestie bought that for us a few years ago (thank you Aunt Elisabeth!), and it such a beloved "decoration"- an awesome toy and "tool" all at the same time. To me it is a Christmas must-have, a great way to plant those seeds for the real meaning of why we celebrate.
There are lots of fun things going on in and around the community, and December always seems to move really fast, so we took advantage of an "open" weekend. Ben came home on Thursday night and told us he had a fun Christmas surprise (it was a surprise to me too) :) We got the kids in Christmas PJ's and I made Emme a little snack to take with us of marshmallows, cheerios, mint m&m's, and some mini chocolate chips. Daddy treated the adults to a Christmas Starbucks drink on the drive out as we headed to Texas Motor Speedway. 94.9 KLTY was hosting a Christmas Wish fundraiser where you could drive thru the speedway and look at large Christmas lights display. Both Emme and JB really enjoyed a fun late night rocking out to Christmas music :), and I really enjoyed Ben making a spontaneous surprise for us. The lights were fun and very entertaining, and it was for a good cause as a bonus.
On Friday night, Denton was putting on its annual tree lighting and wassail tasting. This year was awesome as we got to meet up with our dear friends and their kids and run around the square together. The kids got to visit the petting zoo at the Methodist Church, we listened to live Christmas music, Ben got us a "community" cup of wassail that we all got to have a sip out of haha. It really was great. Oh and Beth Marie's ice cream too. Can't leave that out! Thanks to Elisabeth I have a few pictures :)
On Saturday we decided to make a day of it and head out to Northpark Mall to visit Santa and enjoy all the fun activities and live music/dancing they have going on during the Holidays. It did not disappoint! We left pretty early and got to the mall about 10:30. They have a story time with Santa, so Emme watched that while I went around to collect our number. Yes that is right, you get a number and wait for your time with Santa. To his credit, he is very realistic and awesome with children, and the little Santa house is adorable. Worth the wait, but you sort of have to know how to work the system. When I got our number, the mall had only been open for 30 minutes, but our time to see Santa was 4:30 pm. What I learned last year though, is that once you have your number, you can go and sit against the wall and wait patiently for someone's number to be called that doesn't show up- and the nice picture man will let you go in their place. I waited while Ben took the kids around to nearby shops to play, and by 11:30 we had our picture taken and saw Santa. It worked great! And no shortage of people watching in the process, haha. Waiting for Santa could also be coined the melt-down zone/rude people capitol of America.... but that is a whole 'nother blog. Hehe.
We ate lunch, actually ran into some friends from church (crazy!), and spent the day floating between shopping, live entertainment, and activities. They had a fun place where kids could decorate Gingerbread men. Emme loved getting to do that.
We also saw a puppet show, smelled every single scent at Bath and Body Works, played by the fountain, looked at the ducks and turtles, watched some of the Nutcracker Ballet, checked out the cute puppy dogs with SPCA and spent quite awhile in the Disney Store playing. Before we knew it, it was after 7! I would love to make this a tradition. We had such a blast as a family. It's been a wonderful kick-off to the Christmas season already.