We've spent the last few years home for Christmas. It got too hard trying to hide everything from the kids, it wouldn't all fit in the car anyways, and we wanted to start our own traditions with the kids.
One tradition we picked up from John's family is to make your own pizza in a pie tin. The kids LOVE this! we just have all the toppings in bowls on the counter, give them a ball of dough, and off they go! John and I started combing ours in a small stone so they would fit better in the oven and it wouldn't take so many batches to bake.
Morgan started by spelling Merry Christmas with cheese on hers, then after the picture, decided that she wanted a little more than that on her pizza. lol Always creative, sis!
The first batch of pizzas in the oven--Yum!
Christmas Eve dinner. John's parents joined us this year.
After we finished up our last day on the Advent calendars , it was time to open Christmas Jammies! We let the kids pick out their own jammies this year. They all loved that. We also surprised them with their own Pillow Pets. These were a hit as well.
After jammies were on, pictures were taken, we loaded up in the car and went to look at Christmas lights. We always put the kids in their jammies before we do this so if any of the little ones fall asleep while we are out, they are ready for bed. It works great!
When Zander went "shopping with a cop" earlier this month, he bought all the kids a mini electronic game that he wanted them to open on Christmas Eve. John and I bought him one too (without his knowledge) so he wouldn't be left out. It was very thoughtful of him. :)
Another tradition we started two years ago was letting the kids open their gifts from each other. We let them draw names for who they have each year (they don't want to rotate--they enjoy drawing and not knowing who they'll have each year. lol). We decided to let them open them Christmas Eve so that it wouldn't be just another gift thrown on the pile Christmas morning. It means a little more when they know that their sibling picked this out just for them. They get to play with them until bed time, and it has been a really fun tradition. Ian had Zander and picked out this spy gear kit for him. Zander thought it was so cool!
Micah had Ian and bought him his own basketball and some slime in a tube. Ian loved them both.
Lindey was cracking us up as she opened her gift. She would rip off one little piece at a time and hand it to me. Christmas morning will be fun with her!
Morgan had Lindey and bought her a ladybug baby doll. (the hat lasted about 2 seconds--Lindey doesn't like hats on her dolls. lol)
Eli had Micah and picked him out a lego set and a disc shooter.
Lindey had Eli and helped to pick out some mini cars, and a bunch of art stuff-giant color pages, colored pencils, new watercolors, and a sketch pad.
Zander had Morgan and picked her out a new Barbie that came with a little baby doll Barbie. She loved it! It was perfect.
Then it's time to check where Santa is on Norad, and off to Bed! :)