A Peek Into Our Christmas Break

posted by Andrea | 01/7/2019

Today is our family’s first day back at school after a super fantastic 2-week-long Christmas break (Dave has a whopping 17 days off school!) 

It was a glorious break — made even more enjoyable by the fact we didn’t have any snow to mess with so the kids could play outside almost every day, we didn’t have to worry about driving in bad road conditions, and we didn’t have to spend any time shoveling or plowing.

Of course, a “white Christmas” would have been pretty, but I’ll take practical over pretty at this point in my life!

The first week of break was almost all fun!

We spent most of our days at various parties, events, and gatherings… along with making food for those various parties, events and gatherings.

We hosted my family’s Christmas and enjoyed smoked brisket, baked beans, homemade mac and cheese, corn bread, jalapeño poppers, coleslaw, chunky cinnamon applesauce, and SO many desserts!

I don’t have any pictures… but it was DELICIOUS! 

For most of this first week we ate way too much, stayed out way too late, skipped naps, consumed tons of sugar, and had a really good time doing it!

Dave and I also TRIED to stay up late to watch Elf (my favorite Christmas movie). I fell asleep in less than 15 minutes… Dave fell asleep about half way through — maybe next year!

Our kids enjoyed seeing cousins they only see twice a year, sleeping over at Grandparents’ houses, eating so many candies and cookies, and of course, opening all their gifts.

We were fortunate to get by without too many little toys and trinkets this year as my parents gave them a trampoline and Dave’s parents gave them a zoo membership! We’ll be able to use both of these gifts more once the weather warms up.

In the mean time, I don’t need to store, organize, or pick up any additional toys!

Nora ready for her school’s Christmas program.

Clara opening her gift with lots of “help” from brothers and cousins!

Christmas morning!

Yummy treats

Decorating Gingerbread houses

 

The second week was more “productive”!

  • I got caught up on laundry and house cleaning.
  • I stocked the fridge after almost 2 full weeks of making food for countless parties while simultaneously avoiding the grocery stores!
  • I packed up the tree and ALL our Christmas decorations.
  • I canned 48 quarts of applesauce.
  • I brought some of our purged items away to a local thrift store.
  • I wrote several blog posts.
  • I finished my 2018 family photo book (I’m waiting to order it until I get a good coupon code)
  • I did a fairly thorough cleaning of the bedrooms and bathrooms, including washing ALL the bedding.
  • I defrosted the deep freezers.
  • I did quite a bit of baking to fill the freezers back up.
  • I roasted so many pans of veggies.
  • I read several books.

It was fantastic to have Dave around for 2 full weeks, and although he had plenty of things on his to-do list as well, we were able to take turns hanging out with the kids so we each had some productive time during the days.

We also did many things I wouldn’t normally be willing to do on my own with all 4 kids — various day-trips to local attractions, heading to Rebounderz a couple times, hitting up local thrift stores to spend some of the kids’ Christmas money, going out for lunch, doing science experiments and craft projects at home, etc. etc.

It was a nice change of pace — not sure I’d want to be this “unscheduled” all year long, but these “fun extras” were definitely welcome in our home!

I hope you all enjoyed some part of your holiday season — even if it’s just the fact that the holidays are now over and won’t be back again for 11 months (no shame!!)

I’m certainly glad to back to a more normal routine again; but in another month or so, I’m sure we’ll be counting down the days until Spring Break! 

Happy New Year, friends!

Oh, and here’s a link to our family’s Christmas Card… just in case you missed it before Christmas!

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12 comments

  1. Chantal

    01/07/2019

    Hello Andrea, I follow you from Canada since many years, before Nora was born. Love to see your family growing, and all the cooking and organizing tips you post day after day. You have a beautiful family.

    Wishing you a wonderful year 2019 !

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Chantal!! Happy new Year to you too!

    [Reply]

  2. Shan Lao

    01/07/2019

    My goodness, Andrea, Nora looks so grown up dressed up for her Christmas program!! LOVE your Christmas card too!!

    We had a most lovely cruise. Met two couples with whom we hit it off right away and ate dinner with every night! Christmas Eve the Indonesian and the Filipino crews organized their own choirs and sang Christmas carols and hymns in their own languages as well as in English. Others also performed as well and they all ended leading us in singing Silent Night with candles! On Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year back home, we got as far south as Aruba and enjoyed the longest day of sunshine!!! We met so many wonderful people, including other passengers and workers from all over the world. I splurged and had a number of spa treatments. And it was glorious to go 10 days without cooking and be able to eat all kinds of healthy foods. This was possibly one of our best vacations and Christmas holidays!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh WOW — this sounds fantastic!
    I just heard from a friend who took their 3 kids to Florida for the WHOLE month of December — including a 10 day Disney Cruise! Glorious!
    If Dave weren’t a teacher, I would totally start saving up for this NOW!!
    Glad you had an amazing vacation!

    [Reply]

  3. Bonnie'sMama

    01/07/2019

    Hi Andrea, at one point did you ask for recommendations for a family devotional book? For some reason, I keep thinking about you and a certain book, so I wanted to send you the information and get it off my mind.

    My family (ages 4 months to almost 9 years) has been enjoying a devotional book, found at a thrift store, called The One Year Book of Family Devotions, Volume 1. Each day has a little story with surprising depth, drawing lessons from a short Scripture passage. There’s a memory verse and questions to ask as well. I have been amazed by how much my two older children (5 and 9) have enjoyed it, and by how well-written it is. The stories pack a lot of wisdom into a few paragraphs.

    I hope that’s useful to you.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much — I’m not sure if that was me who asked or not. We actually have 3 or 4 really great family devotionals that we love using (The Jesus Story Book Bible, Jesus Calling for Children, and Daily Bread for children + a few seasonal ones). However, I’ll add this to my list as I’m certain we’ll accumulate more over the years!

    [Reply]

  4. Jen

    01/07/2019

    The trampoline was one of the BEST gifts my parents ever gave our kids. Hours and hours and hours of fun were spent on that crazy thing! Their favorite was putting a sprinkler underneath it in the summer and jumping in their swimsuits. Then, when they were older, the boys would pull our portable basketball net right up to it and get extra jumping force to dunk, etc. They made up games to play on it, our older daughter laid on it and read so many books; definitely a great investment! The only bad part was my husband did not like moving it to mow the lawn or dismantling it for several moves, but it was worth it! I know your kiddos will enjoy it, too!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, our kids are already talking about putting the tamp next to the pool so they can jump in — we’ll see if we allow this or not!
    Hopefully our kids will love it for years to come!

    [Reply]

  5. Martha Osborne

    01/07/2019

    I thought you had Christmas with your family a few weeks ago. If that is the case, why all the presents under the tree on Christmas morning? Not a bash, just a question. (Maybe they are Santa presents.) Glad you had a great holiday!! On to the new year!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Martha,
    As I mentioned in the post, we hosted MY family’s Christmas at our house — those are all gifts from and for my parents, siblings, nephews, etc.
    Santa is not nearly so generous at our house!!

    [Reply]

  6. Annette Silveira

    01/07/2019

    Our two weeks were atypical and super fun as well, but I thrive on routine so I’m glad to get back to normal this week!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, routine is good!

    [Reply]