Wednesday, January 8, 2020

How to Have the Best Winter Break

1. Survive Nutcracker season!

Considering that there's probably only one kid in the entire production who gets exactly the part she'd always dreamed of, and it's never my kid, Nutcracker has a lot of hard lessons to teach about grace, professionalism, work ethic, grit, perseverance, poise, and how even if you hate the ginger wig the MOST, the ginger wig is always assigned to you because it suits your complexion the best.

Fortunately, Nutcracker also teaches that even if you don't get your heart's greatest desire, you can still have a truly great experience. Because your friends are with you, and you still get to dance!

Next adventure post-Nutcracker: pointe shoes!!!

2. Play in the snow.

Thank goodness for this sole December snowfall, because it was something like 50 degrees on Christmas Day!

3. Choose an absolutely glorious Christmas tree. 

Will dreamed of getting the tallest Christmas tree we'd ever gotten, so we measured the height of the highest point of our vaulted ceiling (10 feet!), took her to the tree farm, and let her take her pick.

I wasn't enthusiastic about the idea, but I LOVE this tree more than any we've ever gotten. I love it so much that I delayed putting away our Christmas decorations (they're still up!), just because I don't think that I'm going to be able to stand taking it down.

4. Watch a lot of movies, and take a lot of naps. 

For probably the first time ever, we did not travel anywhere for Christmas break, not even for one day. We did a couple of errands and a few chores, sure, but we also watched a lot of bad disaster movies, and a lot of bad Christmas specials, and while we watched them, some/most/all of us dozed. It. Was. GLORIOUS.

5. Play a lot of games. 

We always deal Luna in on Cards against Humanity, and the above photo commemorates that on this memorable night--SHE WON!!! It turns out that in our family, apparently you can win more often by having the most random answer than you can by having the most apropos one...

6. Make epic gingerbread houses. 


The kids designed their own gingerbread houses this year (don't tell them that this was sneakily educational!), and I found my new favorite gingerbread house and royal icing recipes

For the second year in a row, Will's house fell completely apart and had to have a dinosaur added to the scene to make sense of its shambles. Next year, I think I'm just going to give her the hot glue gun...

7. Drink cocktails. 

Matt always makes me something really fun and really chocolatey!

8. Do a puzzle. 

We LOVE puzzles, but we hadn't worked one since June, because we were afraid that the murderbrat would bat all the pieces off the table. He didn't, but he DID insist on sitting on top of fully half the puzzle, including every piece we needed right then, and supervising us.

9. Decorate cookies. 

I always get stressed out on Christmas Eve with the cookies. We make too many, and then I convince myself that we haven't made enough, and then I discover that I'm out of powdered sugar, and then we go to get some but all the stores are out of powdered sugar, too, because it's Christmas Eve, and then I get panicky that Christmas isn't magical without powdered sugar and the children aren't going to make happy memories, and then Matt makes me sit down and hands me a cocktail with extra chocolate, and we all eat a lot of (unpowdered) sugar, and it's magical and happy memories are made.

Also, Will made jam-filled sandwich cookies, and they were EVERYTHING.

10. Speaking of sugar... have a little more!

Santa spoils those kids...

I have had my fair share of Turkey 'n' Torture holidays, and I know it's okay if Christmas isn't magical and you're just excited to get past it, but this was one holiday that that I am legitimately sad to have finished. It WAS magical, you guys. It was fun and stress-free and restful. Out of 43 years of Christmas holidays, this one was my favorite:

Now... back to work!

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