Christmas Day

Christmas this year was a lot of fun especially with an almost 3 year old. The days leading up to Christmas morning were packed with Christmas-y actitives like making his gingerbread house, baking cookies and decorating the tree. I love being able to create these magical moments for him during this season.  This year the tree didn’t go up till a few days before Christmas Eve and the ornaments were hung on Christmas Eve. Hanging ordainments with an almost 3 year old was quite a challenge, as he lost interest about 45 seconds into it, and then the rest of the time was trying to keep him for breaking the rest of the ordainments. But the tree was done and we were ready for Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve as parents of little kids is exhausting but also so rewarding. We were in a mad dash after Cayden went to bed to tidy up, prep for the morning and wrap and put the presents out. We didn’t go to bed until 1am. But it is a lot of fun to play Santa. This year, Santa brought a new lego table for Cayden along with a Daniel Tiger play set complete with trolley which has been his favorite TV show. I love that they revamped Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood for his generation.

Christmas morning went by really quickly. Cayden was excited to see presents under the tree when he came downstairs and I think that was one of my favorite moments. Grandparents came over in the morning and we opened presents, played with the toy and then opened more presents. We stopped to have mini cinnamon rolls, and then had a late brunch and decorated gingerbread cookies all before nap time. Alexis slept through most of the morning, but woke up when we were doing stockings and then crashed shortly afterwards. The day was perfect spending with family and a good pace with two little kids.
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Santa brought Alexis her very own pink seahorse, which Cayden was very excited to help her open and then show her. They adore each other even if her face doesn’t show it.

 

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Gingerbread House

I picked up a pre-assembled gingerbread house at Target last weekend and it was sitting on the kitchen counter. Everyday Cayden would ask if it was Sunday yet and if we could decorate his house.

We raided his Halloween candy stash and on a sunny afternoon we set everything out after nap. He was beyond excited to start and did such a good job with minimal candy eating during the process.

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This was by far one of our favorite Christmas traditions

Merry Christmas, from the four of us!

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Christmas Cookies Photo Recap – Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

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The Most Wonderful Gingerbread Cookies

by Food.com 

Ingredients

    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
    • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 cup molasses
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.
  2. In a large bowl (KitchenAid’s great for this) beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended.
  3. Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended.
  4. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.
  5. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
  6. (Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but in this case it should be refrigerated. Return to room temp before using.) Preheat oven to 375°.
  7. Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface.
  9. Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin.
  10. Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick.
  11. Use additional flour to avoid sticking.
  12. Cut out cookies with desired cutter– the ginger bread man is our favorite of course.
  13. Space cookies 1 1/2-inches apart.
  14. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies– very good!).
  15. Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack.
  16. After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like.
  17. I usually brush them with a powdered sugar glaze when I am in a hurry, but they look wonderful decorated with Royal icing.