On the docket was:
Day 14 - Make a Christmas-themed Chex Mix with the kids
... but I never got around to buying the ingredients. Actually, I don't even know what the ingredients were going to be in the first place, but I'd have come up with something. Tory and Aden are really into making their own trail mix with peanuts, raisins, M&Ms, chocolate chips and pretzels so they likely ate that for a snack instead.
Oh! And that day, the kids and I made six dozen cut-out sugar cookies for a cookie exchange at Andi's work. Baking and decorating those cookies with two kids underfoot basically took the entire day to do.
Day 15 - Open a Christmas present
... the kids actually did do this one, but I never snapped a picture. The gifts were holiday-themed games from Target's Dollar Spot section (which, by the way, was on point this holiday season -- so many cute gifts)!
Tory, Andi and I played her matching game on several evenings before Christmas, and Aden received a wooden tic-tac-toe game which I think he enjoyed scattering around the living room. Though, a note for next year -- I think I'll cut back on the "open a Christmas present" advent calendar days. The kids never seemed as excited about the presents days as they did the activity days. Hey, go figure! They prefer quality time with Andi and I over material things.
Day 16 - Visit Santa
... which, we skipped since we saw him at the Macy's Santaland display the week prior.
Day 17 - Make a Christmas craft
...I did come up with a quick Christmas craft for Tory on this day, but it wasn't anything Pinterest-worthy. I bought some foam Christmas trees from the Dollar Store and let Tory glue colored pom-poms to the trees. Tory and I typically spend a few hours making crafts together during Aden's afternoon nap time, but I had a hard time squeezing this activity into my days during December. To many other tasks to get done before the holidays!
18th - Eat popcorn and watch a Christmas movie together
...Tory and Aden think it's basically the coolest thing ever to eat popcorn in our bed and watch T.V. so I knew they'd get a kick out of this particular activity. I strategically planned our movie night for this evening because Andi was away on a ski trip in Vail, Colorado and it'd be just the three of us.
Shortly after we pushed play on Frosty the Snowman, Grandma Janie stopped over for an unexpected visit. She offered to stay with the kids if I wanted to run any errands ... and who am I to turn down free babysitting?! So, Tory and Aden finished their movie with Grandma Janie and I skipped out of the house to shop at Target by myself. Fun for all!
Day 19 - Make a Christmas Craft
... I planned ahead for our advent calendar activity on this day (knowing Andi was away for the weekend and we wouldn't be at the lake) and arranged for a few friends to meet Tory, Aden and I at Kids Create for a holiday crafts workshop. I'd never been to this particular studio before, and thought it sounded like a fun activity for the kids. Plus, anytime we can show up to an organized activity, create something fun, and leave the sticky mess behind for someone else to clean up is a WIN in my book. Love Tory's preschool for this very same reason!
The class description touted age-appropriate crafts for the toddler / preschooler set, so I was expecting easy crafts and many sets of extra hands for assistance. Unfortunately, that wasn't quite the case. There were four different craft stations around the studio, but only one employee and not a lot of instruction about what to do with the supplies. My friends Sarah, Mirjam and I jumped in to help our little ones create their projects, but it turned out to be quite challenging for me. Specifically, I had a difficult time helping Tory and wrangling Aden at the same time. He was all over the place - breaking into the back storage room, pulling merchandise off the shelves in the store area, snatching permanent markers left on craft tables, ... it was exhausting! Though, you'd never know my frustration looking back on the photos.
Oh well! The kids had fun and someday Aden won't be such a handful. (Right? Right?! Someone please tell me this is true...) I don't think we'll be back to make crafts at the art studio anytime soon, but it was something new and different to celebrate the holiday season.