This is the first Christmas since we bought our house in 2014 where we didn’t have some sort of major construction project underway. It was nice to be able to only focus on the holiday season and not also be trying to finish up a messy project in time to clean the house for Christmas.
Now that we’ve been in kid mode for 5 years, we’ve started to develop some Christmas habits – or traditions – that everyone looks forward to.
Our Christmas season usually starts with a visit with Santa, in hopes of getting a decent picture of all 5 of us to use for our Christmas cards. Over the past couple of years, mall Santa booths have changed from real photographers to basically an iPad taking a photo, so the quality of the photos have really gone down and are almost unusable. We happened to be visiting a photographer friend right after our Santa visit, so he took a group shot for us that we ended up using for our Christmas card.
Our next Christmas endeavor is picking out the perfect Christmas tree. We’ve recently upped our tree game and go to a Christmas tree farm to either cut or pick the perfect tree.
We also cracked out the always popular advent calendars.
It’s also becoming a Christmas tradition – three years in a row now – where our microwave oven blows a fuse (or two) right before everything shuts down for the holidays.
Because we weren’t bogged down in construction projects, we were able to fit in a couple of fun Christmas-y things on the weekend, including a visit to Nathan Phillips Square and a new miniature village called Little Canada (which is really a hidden gem!). We also managed to get an impromptu visit with Santa.
This year – for the first time – we made gingerbread houses. It was a big hit with the kids!
On Christmas eve-eve we took another kick at the Santa photo can and tried to get a better photo with Santa at Yorkdale. But no dice. There was also a major snowstorm, so driving was a bit dicey but it almost meant very few people were out and about.
It also seems to be a tradition now that our Christmas plans get cancelled. Last year it was because we all got Covid and this year was because of a major snowstorm. We didn’t make it to Christmas eve in Port Hope, Alex’s mom’s train into Toronto was cancelled. So once again, we were alone on Christmas. But the kids had a great time and we got through it with new toys and a lot of patience.
To finish off the Christmas season, we had a small New Year’s Eve party at our house with some friends, bringing in the “new year” at around 8pm.