Well, it’s all over! Our advent calendar was so much fun this year, and I’m so glad we did it for the whole month! We didn’t manage to get every single activity completed, but it was a blast to try, and it definitely helped us get into the Christmas spirit!
So, for the last time, let’s review what we did to celebrate Christmas this week!
We’ve wanted to do this for a while now, and we thought Christmas was a perfect time! We made these homemade treats to put into the dogs’ stockings for Christmas, and they loved them! It was surprisingly easy to make them, and I’m so glad we did it. The recipe made so many that we packaged a few up to give to my parents’ dogs and to my aunt’s dogs – they were a huge hit with everyone!
The Trail of Lights is huge in Austin – it hasn’t been lit for the past two years, and they’ve finally brought it back, so we couldn’t wait to go. It was incredibly crowded – which we expected – but a ton of fun. We’re hoping that by next year people won’t be quite so excited about it and we’ll be able to hit it up when it’s slightly less insane. But we got to see the lights, and spin under the Zilker Park Christmas tree, so I was happy!
I’ve been excited about doing this for a long, long time. It’s on our 101 in 1,001 list, and I’ve just always thought it would be nice to try. We weren’t super strict about it – we listened to music throughout the day and obviously used several forms of technology (like, um our car and the oven!) but the intent was to spend the day together away from distractions like our computers, the television, and our phones. We baked Christmas cookies, ran some errands, played some games, and just enjoyed one another’s company. It was a pretty amazing day and I think this may have to be a yearly tradition for us!
We did quite a bit of cooking the day before when we were “fasting” from technology, but we had a ton left to do! We spend the vast majority of our day baking, cooking, and just generally prepping for the festivities to begin the next day – when we start on this sort of thing is always when it really hits me that Christmas is here…I love it!
This is a new tradition that we started last year. Corey’s family always opened all of their gifts (except for the ones from Santa) on Christmas Eve, and my family always opened gifts from extended family on Christmas Eve and saved everything else for Christmas day. It was a pretty touchy subject for us last year, as we both held adamantly to what we were used to, but we happened to land on a perfect solution on Christmas Eve last year. I was desperate for a new pair of pajamas, and it was very cold and I was whining for some house shoes. I subtly hinted to Corey that if either of those items happened to be under the Christmas tree, I’d be willing to open it that night. It just so happened that they were both under the tree, and our new tradition was born – every Christmas Eve we’ll be opening a pair of pajamas as well as one other (small!) gift. It works for Corey because we’re at least opening something on Christmas Eve, and it works for me because the vast majority of our gifts get saved for the big day. So, this year we each got some pajamas…
and a small gift on Christmas Eve (I got a book and Corey got a mustache-d flask, which he’ll probably never use but it was adorable and I couldn’t resist)!
And with that, I’ve officially shared our entire activity advent! We didn’t put anything in for the 25th, since we were going to be kind of busy anyways! We had so much fun doing it, and I think this is definitely a tradition that’s going to stick with us for a while. I’m just hoping that next year the weather cooperates a bit more so we don’t have to miss out on so many of our activities because it’s too dang warm!
Did you do any sort of advent this year? Anyone else have some friction when it comes to gift-opening-traditions?