For the second year in a row, we stayed in our home in North Carolina for Christmas. We celebrated this year as a family of six (Sadie always included!) and filled the past few days with holiday fun and traditions! I’m popping in today to share some highlights!
Cookies for Santa
On Christmas Eve, we whipped up some cut-out sugar cookies using my go-to recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction blog and had fun decorating gingerbread men, Christmas trees, reindeer, Santas, hearts and snowmen. I love how you can see the excitement in their faces in the first pic above! They both got really into decorating and we had quite the colorful assortment of cookies by the time we were finished.
Two nights in a row before Christmas, we piled into the car and headed out to look at Christmas lights in our area. Rhett isn’t exactly a calm, quiet baby during car rides these days, but Chase and Ryder brought some light-up Christmas toys with them in the car that ended up serving as a light show of sorts for Rhett and it absolutely captivated him! It worked like a charm and we loved the ability to drive around and look at lights as a family without a ton of screaming and tears.
My favorite memory from this year’s light spotting adventures centered around two large Paw Patrol blow ups that Chase and Ryder spotted in a nearby neighborhood. Ryder absolutely lost his mind when he saw them and we drove by them no less than five times. Seriously. If I had any lingering doubts about our decision to become a blow up family this year, that eliminated all of them on the spot. Blow ups > Classy white lights to kids x 1,000.
As a little girl, one of my favorite Christmas memories with my family occurred on Christmas Eve. After church, we would bundle up and walk out to the forest area behind our house in search of Rudolph. Unbeknownst to us at the time, my dad would sneak into the forest earlier in the day to hide a glowing red light in one of the trees. My sister and I were always absolutely amazed when we’d see what we believed to be Rudolph’s nose glowing in the distance.
Ryan loved the idea of this tradition and hid a red light in the far corner of our backyard on Christmas Eve this year for our boys to find. When we arrived home after looking at Christmas lights, we sprinkled the reindeer food Ryder made at preschool (a combination of oatmeal and sprinkles) all over our yard and the boys absolutely lit up when they saw Rudolph’s nose shining brightly in our backyard! We made a big deal about it and were all super quiet and sneaky so we didn’t “scare Rudolph away” and it was just the cutest thing!
Rhett’s First Christmas (Santa Baby!)
This Christmas felt different in many ways for obvious reasons (#2020) but for one reason in particular, it felt very special for our family. It was Rhett’s first Christmas and even though he clearly didn’t get that Christmas was different than any other day, we loved dressing him up in a Santa suit we borrowed from a friend and thought he looked way too cute in his much-too-big attire.
I also loved having some quiet moments with our littlest dude before Chase and Ryder were up for the day and placed Rhett on his new playmat where he loved kicking and cooing at all the new sights in front of him.
It was one of those peaceful, calm moments where I took some time to let myself feel present and focus on the reason for the season and my blessings, with my family at the very top of my list. There’s something extra special about a baby’s first Christmas and my heart felt incredibly grateful for all of my babies, Ryan and Sadie on Christmas morning.
Ryder’s First Bike
Nona surprised Ryder with his very first bike – a 12’’ version of Chase’s bike – and it was, without a doubt his favorite gift of Christmas! It took him about 10 minutes to get the hang of riding it but once he figured out how to go and break, he was off and did a million laps around our house! He was flying by the end of the day and slept HARD at naptime!
We spent the vast majority of the day on Christmas just lounging around the house as a family, opening presents, playing with new toys and FaceTiming family. Gratitude is at the very center of my life every day but on Christmas, especially, I felt extra blessed to be surrounded by noisy kids, sticky fingers, the world’s clingiest dog, a snuggly baby and a husband to share all of the adventures with every day.
I would be remiss to end this blog post without acknowledging the fact that I know the holiday season is not easy for many, many people. I know this year has been an incredibly hard year for many and I hope that you were able to find some moments of happiness, gratitude and love over the holiday season. Please know that the gratitude I feel in my life extends to you, too. Thank you for being here and sharing our holidays with us. I am sending tons of love your way!
Ok totally not Xmas related but noticed you have white couches! I have a toddler and another one on the way but love light colors for furniture. How has that worked out for you a kids and dog :)? What brand do you have? Thank you!
I remember her saying they are from Ikea! I am almost positive you can wash all the covers!
Bingo!! Great memory!
hi!! they’re from IKEA and i got them after so many blog readers recommended them to me when i was on the lookout for white chairs/a couch that was REALLY easy to clean with kids. it is all washable (slipcovers for the win!) so they’ve been great with kids + a dog!
Looks like a fun filled Christmas!!!
Thank you for sharing!
Your blog has been such an encouragement to me during this hard year!!!
Looking forward a new year and hoping it is filled with lots of good things!!!
Happy New Year!!!
You are such a sweet soul, Julie. I’m so glad you had such a special Christmas with your family—there’s nothing better!
Sara Wilson says
Wonderful pictures! I just tried the top coat, quick drying product you recommended and it is an absolute game changer! I have been painting my nails the exact same color for nearly 20 years (OPI’s I’ve Got the Blues for Red…I keep them short!) and I can already tell this product is going to change my life!!! Especially now that I have little ones and need to do my nails multiple times a week… Before having kids I could paint them once a week and they’d last…not so much anymore!
YES! exactly! I feel like it’s made for busy moms who NEED their polish to dry in a flash!
Beautiful post Julie! What a hopeful way to end 2020.
thank you heather <3 best wishes for a wonderful 2021 for you!
Love it, and your sentiments on gratitude are so true.
On another note, I’m looking for a new dining table and love how long yours is. The top looks like it has a smooth surface. Do you mind sharing where it’s from?