2016 Christmas Bucketlist, Update #1

I shared our bucket list 2 weeks ago and soon afterwards I got a TERRIBLE cold. Easily the worst cold that I have had in years, not that any of them are good. I’ll be honest, the cold made me angry. It was the most wonderful time of the year and I felt like garbage. At first I felt too badly to care, then I became annoyed. I thought that surely our bucket list suffered for it. But when I took at look to see how we were doing so far, I was surprised!

Even though we had been terribly sick, we were still doing the same things we do every single year. Sorry to anyone we “shared” our germs with along the way. Today I wanted to take a moment to catch you up on our holiday adventures so far. 

Polar Express movie night

I failed to take photos of this night. I was way to busy playing hostess and making 36 dinner rolls. But I did make a special chalk board for the occasion. This is year #3 of our Polar Express movie night and a tradition I hope the Lances and the Newmans keep for MANY years to come. I mean our kids will still want to watch the Polar Express when there 16, 15 & 13… right?!?!

Mail Christmas Cards

Christmas cards were sent a long time ago. I was excited to hear from several friends that I was their very first Christmas card of the year too!

See Santa Claus

We’ve seen Santa 3 times already and we have 2 more planned for this week. Good thing we know that the REAL Santa lives at Silver Dollar City, otherwise that would just be confusing ;). I honestly thought that Marissa would start asking questions this year, nope. She must take after her mama. Some days I still think that I believe in Santa.

Ride The Polar Express

We bought tickets for the Polar Bear Express back in October! It is actually a 100-year-old trolley that goes around a local park. It was a lot of fun and a teensy bit creepy too. One year I would LOVE to take the girls to an actual Polar Express train but man the tickets to those things are expensive. Our little trolley ride was the perfect inexpensive family night.

Make a Gingerbread House

My biggest take away from this year is that next year I need to get two houses. The creative differences become more apparent every year. One year I would love to make a gingerbread house from scratch with the girls. But they will have to be a lot more helpful in the kitchen before that happens.

Attend a Christmas parade

We usually go to our towns annual Christmas parade but it was FREEZING that night and we felt like garbage so we called the light parade at Silver Dollar City good enough.

Celebrate Advent

I LOVE celebrating advent with the girls. It is something we have done for the past several years and it is always so special. This year we are reading The Jesus Story Book Bible Advent plan and we have our Advent wreath. We also read a few scriptures from the Christmas story every day.

Journey to Bethlehem

This is by far my favorite thing that we have done so far. A local church has done this for years now and it was our first time attending. It is an outdoor event where you and a group of people are walked through a journey, like you are reporting for the census. There are shepherds, soldiers, wise men, and more along the way. In the end you end up at the stable. The girls had the BEST time and so did we. We’ll definitely go back again.

Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus… and Emily. That girl. She couldn’t get close enough. 

Christmas themed breakfast

We had our North Pole breakfast early in the Christmas season this year. I even blogged about some tips to help you start this tradition with your family!

Tips and tricks to help you host the perfect Northpole Breakfast from setup to cleanup and everything in between. #ad #ScrubSeason #CollectiveBias Tips and tricks to help you host the perfect Northpole Breakfast from setup to cleanup and everything in between. #ad #ScrubSeason #CollectiveBias

Visit Silver Dollar City

Silver Dollar City is a yearly Christmas highlight. This year it was MUCH busier than normal, which had me wishing that we had gone before Thanksgiving, but we still had a great time. You can read more about it here.
  

So we are halfway through our list and halfway to Christmas too! I think we are right on track! 

What Christmas activity has been your favorite so far?!

Checking a few things off our #ChristmasBucketlist today. 10 down, 10 to go! Click To Tweet
  • Heather Bramlett

    Looks like y’all have had a great time marking stuff off your Bucket List…even though y’all didn’t feel great 🙁 Glad everyone is feeling better!
    We have lots of our bucket list stuff planned for next week!! YAY

    • I think we should too. We had a whole lot at the beginning and the rest we will cram in at the very end. I am so glad that even though we were sick, we didn’t miss out on some things.

  • Amy Smith

    Oh friend! Who knew there good be so much happiness & goodness in just one post?! You guys are having the best Christmas season & that cold can’t hold you back! I said next year that we are getting a gingerbread village because we all had such a fun time!

    • Haha! We have been having a blast this year. Now to finish up our list! I think a village is a GREAT idea. I may copy that.

  • Jessica

    Wow!!! You have had a great December so far having tons of family fun. I love all of the family shots you’ve gotten. I’m glad your cold has made it’s way out and you can now enjoy more. We were going to do the Polar Express train with the kids this year, but after looking at the price and thinking of Emmy who wouldn’t sit still we decided to give it another year. Have a great week!

    • I am so shocked over all the family shots we have gotten this year. I have been TRYING to make those happen more than I did in the earlier years and I am doing a great job this year. It’s SO expensive, right? Definitely smart to pick the right age to go.

  • So much fun despite your crummy cold!! Three of us have gotten it here from the fourth! Love all the festive traditions!

    • Oh man, that really stinks. Tis the season I guess :(.

  • Meghan Flinn

    You guys have been busy… So much fun! And we skipped out tree lighting because it was cold and Noah just wasn’t feeling it. I’m learning that we don’t have to do everything. No point forcing anything.

    • IT always seems to go that way. Lots at the beginning and lots at the end. Things slow down a bit in the middle. That is SO true. Eventually you learn your favorites and roll with it. The girls like the parade, but don’t love it. They actually never even noticed we didn’t go :P.

  • You still got a lot done despite your cold! I hate being sick during the holidays.

  • Wow you got a lot done!!! Impressive!! Love it all, we are doing Polar Express this weekend with some family and friends, so excited!!!

    • Aaahhh that makes me so happy. I bet y’all have a blast.

  • So sorry you were sick, but glad you got so much accomplished anyhow! I love your matching headwraps!

    • All of which were made by me :).

      • Awesome! I want the pattern!

        • It was SO easy, you don’t even need a pattern. You just knit back and forth for as thick and as long as you want….Mine are 14-16 stitches wide. Then you sew it together and wrap the area with yarn where you sewed it to create a “bow”!

  • oh wow that is great.. you guys sure crossed a lot of your list!

    http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

    • We really have. I can’t believe we’re over halfway to Christmas.

  • Whitney Jordan

    I am extra impressed that you did so many fun things while you weren’t feeling well. I think that makes you super mom 🙂 I love your advent calendar tradition. You’re the second person to recommend something from that Jesus Story book Bible to me. I’ve got to check it out. Keep up the fun things!!

    • Trust me on this one and buy it immediately! It is my absolute favorite kids Bible resource ever! I can hardly get through a story without tearing up. You would treasure it for years and years to come, I just know it.

  • Y’all have gotten so much done already! You’re halfway there! And may I say that I ADORE your advent wreath! That is just beautiful. I love the mason jars!

    • Thank you! I love our Advent wreath too. It is just a piece of garland that I connected, mason jars, epsom salt and a dollar store candle in a holder for the Christ candle. SO easy, pretty, meaningful and inexpensive.

  • Lizzie Simantz

    Wow so much fun stuff you guys have already done!! I’m so sorry you got that nasty cold, ugh! Let’s hope that’s behind you for good now. I’m soooo not looking forward to the day Brayden starts questioning Santa. I saw 2 moms on Facebook say how their 5 & 6 year olds don’t believe and they just told them, ummm what!?!?!? I’m with you, I think I even still believe so I really really hope it’s a long time my kids still do too!

    • I hope you can ride that train with me friend. Marissa is 8.5!!! I think the fact that we home-school may play into it? Since she’s unsocialized (that’s a bad joke :P) she doesn’t hear what other kids have to think? But it wasn’t that way for me. I actually think I stopped believing LONG before I ever let my parents know just because I wanted it to be true so badly. Let’s just press a pause button. All 5 & 6 year olds should believe in Santa.

  • Desiree @ Macke Monologues

    You’ve done SO much, and there’s still almost two weeks to go!
    Your Polar Express movie night sounds so fun! I’d love to do that with Marcus and his best neighbor-friend next year!
    The Polar Express looks perfect! I’m with you, I’d love to do the “real” Polar Express, but man, would my kids enjoy it as much as it costs?!
    The Journey to Bethlehem looks so awesome. I wish we had something like that near us!

    • I knew the beginning and the end would be the busiest, it always is that way. You totally should it is such a fun tradition to start. We usually try to do it to kick off the holiday season just a few days after Thanksgiving. Obviously hot chocolate IS required. I just can’t do it. To got to the one here t would be like $200+ and travel expenses on top of that. I know they’d love it, but not that much. It is the coolest, Marcus would have the best time. My girls haven’t stopped talking about our journey.

  • Well this makes me feel so unproductive 😉 What fun!! Your advent countdown looks so pretty.

    • I let out a huge HA when I read that. I knew the beginning and the last week were going to be the busiest, they always are.

  • It just isn’t right to be sick during the holidays. Glad you are feeling better now. Yes, I think 2 gingerbread houses would be a good idea for next year. Creative decorating differences really are a thing 🙂

    • I KNOW! It just flat out sucks :P. Oh man are they. At first it seemed like one was enough. This year, yeah we need two. I think I’ll look for ones on clearance after Christmas. They don’t actually eat them anyways.

  • So happy you’re feeling better and you were able to check some things off the bucket list! Those ginger bread houses are too cute… I saw a Starbucks one the other day and feel like even though I’m sure it’s insanely over priced, it might be calling my name…

    • Oh me too friend. That was THE worst. I have never seen the Starbucks one but I bet it is amazing. I almost bough a really cute Hansel and Gretel looking one from Trader Joes when we were up at KC. I passed on it and totally regretted it.

  • chall1018

    Colds are the worst! Sorry sweet friend. You guys have already put a HUGE dent into your list! Way to go. I love bucketlists, but holiday ones are my favorite. I was so impressed with how quick you got your cards out! You should be receiving ours in the next few days! I’m with you there…in the believing!! I think Kids bring back that magical feeling of Christmas for us. It’s amazing to see it all through their eyes. The Polar Express Trolley sounds like a good time! You are right, Polar Express tickets are outrageous. We have to buy ours in September because they sell out quick. I’m kind of glad though…it’s easier to shell out $250 bucks in September than it is in December. The Journey sounds a lot like our Bethlehem Revisited. It’s one of my favorite Christmas time traditions!

    • They are terrible right?! They just last so stinking long! We really did knock a bunch out fast, but that seems to happen every year. We really need to get busy if we are going to finish. I thought those two events sounded similar. We will TOTALLY make it an annual thing.

  • I am so happy we start celebrating early because having that virus knock each of us out last week was just horrible. The same goes for you! I am glad you were able to celebrate through such a yucky head cold.

    • Haha! Yes. We didn’t get much done for nearly a whole entire week ourselves. I am glad that it was “just” a cold. At least we didn’t have to keep a bathroom close by :P.

  • I love all these little traditions. The journey to Bethlehem sounds sounds so touching. We have a drive through that is similar but I think walking would be so much more fun. Looks like you guys have really had a great month!

    • Oh my goodness it was the coolest thing ever! I kind of wish we had started going years ago. But the girls are at the PERFECT age to start this tradition now. We have had a great month, even with being sick!