It's The Holiday Season...

We've tried to squeeze in as many holiday-type things as we could without packing our schedule too much. I haven't been great about updating the blog or posting on my Instagram, so this is just a huge dump of all our holiday activities up til this point.
We started decorating a little early (mid-November) so we could spread the holiday out a bit and not be too exhausted. It took us a couple days to decorate the tree and we have enjoyed having it up in our house. In October, I got this 9 foot prelit tree for free from someone in our community through freebox (it's like freecycle or offerup, but specifically for our community). I hit the jackpot with this score and it was fun to see how excited the girls were for such a giant tree.

This was our first year doing Elf on the Shelf. We've had him for a couple years, but really just put him on the tree and didn't really play along. This year I've moved him around most days and even Ben has gotten in on the action. The girls usually forget about him until after school and then look for him... or they'll find him going about our morning routine and it is so cute to see their little faces when they find him. Cora named him Rudolph, but we usually just call him the elf on the shelf. The girls were lucky and got a couple presents from him, but other than that he only moves around... nothing mischievous.

We've been doing a lot of crafts. You can see a roundup of my favorite Christmas DIYs in this post. We made some more handprint Santas , made our own wrapping paper and worked on painting some plain plastic ornaments. I've been keeping all of our drawing stuff out in the kitchen and the girls will draw all day long. 

I've also been doing a lot more cooking and baking. I've been making soup, cookies, and lots of banana bread. My little sidekick loves to watch and help taste test by licking the beaters. Who can turn down that sweet face?!  (sidenote: these are made with no egg, so okay to eat)
My aunt has been doing a lot of embroidering (she gifted us this cute Santa hand towel) and she taught me and Cora how to embroider. I've been working on a little present for Ben and Cora has been working on this kids cat embroidery kit. It's fun to hang out with each other and work on our own projects and chat.

We had a family outing to the Cincinnati Zoo lights. We picked a random day where we didn't have much going out and headed down for a little trip. We just did a quick loop to check out all of the lights and we hope to make it back in the next week or so when we have more time to ride the train and look at everything. 

My favorite thing about the holiday season is all of the family together time... and our family has a lot of together time. My aunt and uncle took me and the girls to see The Grinch and Santa was there. Ida was not an fan.  We also did some gingerbread making at my parent's house and the girls loved it. Our gingerbread house didn't last long, but we had a whole lot of fun making it.

We're excited about all of our Christmas Eve/Christmas family activities coming up, but we've also loved spreading out all of the holiday related things so we can really enjoy each and every activity.

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