Our Homemade Christmas

This year was a year of firsts.  MJ’s first Christmas,  our first Christmas as a family of four, Liesel’s first memorable Christmas, and our first Christmas to start lasting traditions!

We have had such an enjoyable holiday season beginning with getting our tree! Here are a few more ways that we made this Christmas full of traditions and homemade holiday cheer!

Winter Wonderland: this new tradition we started I give complete credit to Eric.  Back in November he kept saying that I should make and hang snowflakes with Liesel this year.  I kind of shook the idea off because Liesel and scissors did not sound like the best idea…  Eric, however kept on the topic.  Finally one evening in December when the notion came up once again, I told Eric that we should make the snowflakes and surprise Liesel with her own winter wonderland!  That night Eric and I stayed up until after midnight cutting and hanging snowflakes all over the house.  The reaction Liesel gave in the morning was perfect. Her mouth dropped open when we flicked on the lights and she squealed, ” wow!  Isn’t this amazing?!”  Eric and I decided then and there this is a tradition to keep.

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Christmas Lights and Cocoa: this tradition we started last year.  When it is close to bedtime we jammie the girls up.  Make a fresh batch of Eric’s homemade hot cocoa and pile into the car.  Liesel loved it last year and even more so this year!  MJ was oooing and ahhing herself:)  We made three separate trips and enjoyed every one of them!
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Felt Tree:  this idea I owe to pinterest:)  I bought the felt from Walmart for less than $5!  I introduced the tree during Christmas Tree week, and the girls loved decorating and redecorating it. 

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Christmas at the Zoo: thanks to Mimi and Papa we were able to enjoy a fun-filled evening at the zoo. Amazingly the weather was perfect and despite a napping strike that day, both girls were alert and loved every minute of it!! The lights were gorgeous. And there were animals to see, carolers to hear, and tons of fun to be had! Thanks Mimi and Papa, can’t wait to go next year:)
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Homemade Gifts: in an attempt to be crafty and save money, I decided to do some diy projects. The first was for the grandparents. Our family is blessed by the most AMAZING grandparents. They love our girls more than I could have ever dreamed possible and are such a blessing. I wanted to do something special for these angels in our lives, so the girls and I made Mistletoes decorative plates. The girls loved having green feet and I loved all the painting:) so happy with how they turned out!
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I also made granola as a gift. This recipe is so.good. Crammed with pecans, sunflower seeds, and golden raisins, and sweetened with coconut oil and pure maple syrup; it is delish!
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Here is the recipe:)
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Decorating with Candy: in years past we have always decorated gingerbread houses. This year , in an attemot to try something new,we decorated Christmas trees. Using ice cream cones and frosting and lots of sprinkles and candy. We invited a few friends over and had a blast!! Although the outcome was cute, Eric and I decided we missed our gingerbread houses and will be decorating those again next year! Perhaps we will do both:)
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Wooden Blocks: this is 100% my awesome husband. I have been wanting to get Liesel wooden blocks for forever! But I have never seen them at garage sales or on craigslist and the Melissa and Doug going rate is around $60. Sorry, can’t come to terms with that…. so Eric had the idea that he would make them! I instantly loved this and adored watching erics excitement! He bought a 2×4 from Lowes for like $3 and measured out all the size blocks he wanted. Squares, rectangles (big and small), and triangles. Using a friends hand saw and a Saturday morning, Eric successfully cut about 40 blocks. They really looked great; all that was left was the sanding! This task was a little more involved. I think Eric spent about three separate nights sanding the blocks to perfection. His poor hands ( yes he used paper). But boy did the turn out wonderful! Liesel opened them Christmas morning and instantly began building. This gift was a hit and one our kids will enjoy for years to come! Thanks babe, you are the best dad!!!
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We also enjoyed numerous Christmas crafts that went along with our Liesel school themes: Snow, Reindeer, Christmas Trees, and The Nativity. The Christmas movie vault was opened and we enjoyed watching the cartoon movies with Liesel for the first time. And around 3-4 dozen cookies were made, decorated and consumed ( myfitnesspal we will meet again once we return home from Michigan;)). So, as you can see this year was one for the books! I look forward to keeping these traditions and adding more down the road. Would love to hear any traditions you do, old or new!

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