I've been down and out with bronchitis this past few days but we've still managed to enjoy our Christmas preparations! On Day 17 our new 'friend' put in an appearance, much to the boys' delight.
On Day 17 we were very excited to have a Hanukah part to look forward to, hosted by our friend Ayala.
It was really lovely party with many children there, and much to their delight Ayala had numerous menorah's for each kiddo to light. Chas was a little too young to join in that particular festivity, but he watch on with some keen interest.
As last year, Ayala also had Hanukah gifts for the kiddos... electronic dreidels!
Thankfully our new friend remembered to move places just in time for Chas to descend the stairs on the day of the 19th...
Today's preparation was to go shopping for gifts for others (specifically Raf was tasked with buying gifts for Chas, Nana, and Rich). I wasn't brave enough to take both boys and Charlie just is too young to understand, so off I went with Raf... who was also interested in checking things out for himself! He wore his pajamas to school, thus the pjs in the shop.
Trucks for Charlie!
Not too much luck with Dad's present... I don't think he'd appreciate this one, Raf!
I can't post Nana's present choice lest she looks at the blog before the big day.
A drive to see the lights (and a stop off for some chips!). Rich has swim class on Friday and is generally exhausted afterwards so we tried to keep things fairly low-key. We headed to Kennebunkport and checked out the lights along the way - except Raf fell asleep so we stopped for dinner before looking at the lights properly.
We waited for Raf to wake up and Nana and I took Charlie in to the restaurant and he became busy immediately with colouring.
He and nana were really into it, taking it all quite seriously.
Eventually Raf woke up... we had chips and the boys had a bowl of pasta... (and the adults enjoyed a bit of beer and wine.)
The off we went. Both boys were incredibly tired so we ended up staying in the car and driving past some lovely spectacles.
And the most impressive lights? Our sad and lonely string of lights....!!!
I started to come down with a horrible cold on Friday and by Saturday I felt truly terrible. I was thus glad to have an easy activity....
A new Christmas movie: The Snowman and The Snowdog. The children were completely mesmerized. It's a beautiful follow up film to another favourite, The Snowman.
They watched it several times....
On the Sunday I was very, very sick and we had to cancel our preparation for day 21... a neighborhood holiday party. We substituted the party for some Solstice celebrations. I told Raf some of the meanings and significance of the Winter Solstice, and that evening we decorated our yuletide tree with some solstice offerings: some beautiful ornament gifts from our friends' Scott and Beth, and some candy canes :)
On Monday I was feeling slightly better and excited to spend the first day of the Christmas holidays with the boys. Thankfully our new friend moved before anyone could notice he hadn't moved during the night....
And we were excited for some Christmas cake making!
That morning, super-Nana took care of the boys whilst I popped to the shops to get some last minute pressies. This meant that Chas didn't get a nap until I returned home, so I put him down and it was a real treat to have some one-on-one time with Raf as we made the cake.
Raf was very enthusiastic.
And cut up all the butter himself.
And then crumbled it all together.
A lovely, tasty fruitcake.
Poor Charlie missed out. But once he was awake we had our own little date as we posted the last of our holiday cards.
They'll be late - I'm sure :)