December 6th: We got up and stood in line bright an early to get tickets to the Somerville Illuminations tour. We then went and bought the first real tree the kids have had for the holidays. I went crazy when I saw the (relatively) low prices the boy scouts were selling for and told the kids they could pick any tree they wanted. The thing barely fit in our house, but we brought it home and decorated it and had a great time.
December 12th: We went for pictures with Santa at the mall.
December 19th: We did the Somerville Illuminations tour. We scored tickets on the tour we wanted, which was West Somerville at 8:45. Shara, our wonderful au pair joined us. The tour is on a trolley and hits a number of really well decorated houses in the city, and the kids got to make some decorations while we were waiting for our tour. We had a great time, though Duncan did fall asleep at the end.
December 21st-22nd: We lit candles at sunset to mark the winter solstice. We had a celebratory dinner of pizza. Margaret’s friend Sadie stayed extra late for their regular play date and joined us for dinner. Afterwards we ate a bunch of cookies that we’d made a decorated the day before. The kids had a blast helping to roll cookie dough, cut out shapes, and decorate with colored sugar. Actually they were way more into making them than actually eating them. We brought the candles upstairs at bed time so we could keep them lit until dawn, and all snuggled together in my bed for the night. (I used to stay up all night on the longest night of the year, but I prefer the new, more kid-friendly approach.)
December 24th: We made gingerbread houses with Shara before the kids went to their Dad’s place for a few hours.
December 25: We did stockings first thing in the morning, then breakfast of cinnamon rolls, then present opening with Shara at 10 am. Cookies and gingerbread available until dinnertime, though the kids ate fewer sweets than I was expecting. I did salmon for dinner, and we watched seasonal movies and went to bed.
Decenmber 27: My parents arrived. We had a second round of present opening that was nearly as big last the first.
My parents are here until January 2nd, and it's really nice to have them.
Oh and in the loot-for-me department Margaret got me a really nice skein of yarn that I made into a new hat for me. I'm pretty psyched about that.