Christmas, although an incredibly joyous holiday, has so many things jam-packed into a few weeks of time. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but this year was particularly busy for us.
We did some fun things as a family and one of those included visiting the Anoka Holiday tour of lights at the fairgrounds. There are tons of lights and even a post-office where kids can mail a letter to Santa. It was a great night spent with family and getting some fresh air 🙂
My parents both turned 60 this year! My brothers and I worked together to host a dual surprise 60th party for them at McDuff’s in Ramsey, MN. They are so helpful when it comes to hosting large groups of people, and this is actually where we had our post-Mexico wedding reception in 2014. My in-laws host just about every shower here, too, so I figured there’s no better place for us to ring in a set of big birthdays! My Dad was nosy and had it sort of figured out, but my Mama was absolutely surprised.
Earlier that day we spent time with both the Scott & Murray clan at Northwoods Bar & Grill in Nowthen, MN. They host this amazing Santa experience every year, and it’s quickly become a tradition in our family.
Aside from delicious breakfast, Santa comes, there’s a hot chocolate bar, cookie decorating, ornament coloring, and a gift bag for each kid! It’s so well-organized and truly a fun and happy Santa experience. We were able to spend time as a giant family, which I think is so awesome.
This Christmas Brooks turned ONE. What a year it’s been! He is my little sweetheart and it has been such a fun change watching a little boy toddle around and steal my heart with his smile and cuddles and big, open-mouthed kisses. We had a “RAWR-y” dino-riffic first birthday party with our immediate families. It was a fun afternoon full of delicious pizza, cupcakes, and gifts! Yet another day to cram into the mix, but it was enjoyable all the more.
We rounded out the holiday season with a handful of Christmas celebrations. Brunch, mimosas, prime rib, you name it, we ate it. As exhausting as it can be, the happiness that surrounds all of that family time is quite marvelous. The kids were completely spoiled with gifts and love, so I don’t know that there is much more to ask for!
When Brooks was born, the nurses brought us a NOEL basket full of baby goodies; a mother who had lost her baby delivers them each year to the new Mamas delivering on Christmas Day. Her generosity in the face of adversity brought me to tears that day, so we wanted to do something nice, as well. We brought two-dozen Sarah Jane’s Bakery donuts to the doctors and nurses Christmas morning. Brooks was asleep in the car, so I brought them in myself this year. We’re hoping to keep this tradition alive for years to come!
To finish, we told the story of Jesus’ birth to Julia for the first time. Although she might not understand just yet what it means, there is so much power in exposing them to the history behind our Christmas season. I can only hope she and Brooks learn and understand the true meaning of Christmas after all of the noise and presents subside. Brooks will always share his birthday with our Savior, which we think is pretty cool!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season full of love, laughter, family, and great food! I can only wish that 2019 finds you all with more blessings than you can handle. I look forward to sharing more on the Band of Mamas blog this year, as well.
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