We travelled to Buffalo again for Christmas this year. I know everyone thinks we are crazy to go to Buffalo in the winter, but there is just something magical about a white Christmas. Granted, Buffalo didn’t quite deliver this year and Christmas was more of a cold, muddy, sloppy Christmas, but it was still magical all the same.
And magical is definitely the word I would use to describe this season. Just like with Disney, AJC told bought into all the wonder. I read a meme during this time that said, “Now that I’m an adult, I realize that all that Christmas magic was just my mom loving me so damn much.” That one totally resonated and made me so grateful for all this years my mom made it magical for us (and continues to), and it inspired me to keep doing the same for my kids.
We stuffed our visit full of Christmas themed activities, but the most special part is being with family. Being able to see my great Grandmother loving being absorbed in all the action means so much to me. This was our first Christmas without Papa Pete. Last Christmas we would have never guessed we would only have two more months with him. There was a definite absence felt by all, and we know now more than ever how important it is to treasure every moment we get together.
Mama Shelley waited to decorate the tree until the boys could help (and then Aunt Heidi rearranged it all while they were sleeping).
We also continued the annual tradition of decorating cookies at Grandma Betty’s house.
Mama Shelley took them to the Elf on the shelf play and low and behold guess who showed up the next morning! Our very own elf who the kids named Snowflake. I swore we would never start this tradition, but I was overruled.Supposedly Snowflake watches over them and then gives a report to Santa. Snowflake also wrote them a letter every day talking about their good behavior. All this, and the threat of Snowflake watching really didn’t seemed to make an impact when they were acting up, but they did love searching for him every morning and reading his notes.
Luckily we did get a couple days of snow before Christmas so the kids could get some sledding in and make a snowman.
We also spent a lot of time just hanging as a family. The boys got a lot of cousin time, and it was just full of playful energy all day long.
One of our favorite days is taking the train to the North Pole. We get to meet real reindeer, get our face painted, sit in Santa’s sleigh, and of course meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Heidi and I continued our tradition of having the North Pole breakfast on Christmas Eve. Because of our recent trip to Disney, we did a Disney theme this year. The kids loved getting new Disney stories and eating their Mickey shaped pancakes.
Me trying to read the Christmas story of Jesus. Santa also brought them a kids Nativity and reminded them to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas morning the kids woke up to find the three gifts Santa left. That night all the family came to celebrate dinner. Then we continued to open stocking stuffers and family presents for the next three days. Christmas really does last an entire season. We are so privileged that the season if full of love, family, magic and joy. I am filled with gratitude.