Merry Christmas! Here’s how we did on the 2017 holiday fun list

We tore through the presents by about 9 a.m. this morning, so it's been kind of a long Christmas day. At least there were new presents to play with. And fight over. But I digress! Since it's Christmas, I thought I'd go ahead and post a re-cap on the 2017 holiday fun list.

Back in November, I observed my annual tradition of creating a list of activities that would help this season feel festive for me. I did OK on the list. Not perfectly, but OK. Here's the report:

Come up with a Thanksgiving dish that can be "my" dish. Not really, though the cranberry sauce I make kind of is. My mom liked the sweet potato recipe that was posted here, and has made it twice. I made some roasted herbed carrots, and they were good, but I'm not sure I'd consider it a signature, special item.

Run long on Thanksgiving. I only ran 4 miles, but did so with my husband, so that was nice. I also ran about 4 miles the next day with my little brother.

Do a literary Advent calendar. We opened books most nights. We liked the stories, though we got a bit behind in the middle. I'm debating if we do this again, or just make a basket of holiday stories and pull out from there each night — or when we feel like it — without the wrapping.

Welcome Sassy the elf. She/he has been here, and hiding in various places on the first floor. Unfortunately, this Christmas I’m on Instagram, so I've seen other people’s posts (like Jessica Turner's) and I am feeling inadequate. Fortunately, the children aren't on Instagram.

Read a Christmas Carol. I did - it was a fun read. If you haven't read it, you should do so! Even if you've seen the movie(s).

Bake cookies. I sort of observed cookies being baked. I haven't really felt like being in the kitchen all that much, honestly.

Take some half-days to go shopping. I did this over the past week, and managed to get my shopping done efficiently. I was probably in a better mood about it than if I'd gone shopping on weekends, but I still am not that big a fan of shopping. On the upside, my mom came with me one day and we went to Bonefish Grill after and had drinks with lunch.

Have the kids give each other presents. Nope. Maybe next year. I feel a bit sad about this because they wanted to do it. But other things wound up being more of a priority, and I didn't make the time to take each individually to the store.

Have a nice birthday dinner. My husband and I went to Talula's Daily, and it was great as usual.

Sing in a Christmas concert. I sang in my choir's Bach Christmas concert, and it was much fun. I also sang in the Christmas Eve service, plus the regular Sunday service that morning. And attended the pageant (see below). Three services in one day — and I skipped the midnight one!

Go to NYC with my husband. We wound up there twice, albeit once with the 10-year-old in tow. It's always nice to see the Christmas lights, and we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art both times too.

See the Nutcracker. I took the three big kids, and it went pretty well. I always like the show. They got restless at times, but mostly liked it too.

Visit Santa at Longwood. Always good to get tickets to this, and then see the poinsettias in the greenhouse.

See my kids in the Christmas pageant. I had two readers (one of whom got to light candles) and an angel. A lot of work to coordinate rehearsals, but I think they enjoy it.

So that's this year! Maybe I'll make a non-holiday winter fun list to get me through the next 10 weeks until the flowers come out….

Photo: Christmas display of green apples and cranberries (!) at Longwood Gardens

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6 Responses to Merry Christmas! Here’s how we did on the 2017 holiday fun list


  1. Kathleen says:

    Merry Christmas. I enjoy your blog. I never wrapped books but went to the basket of books. I think it works well (even though we read a few of the books over and over). With kids at different ages and reading levels, it is interesting to see which books are selected. On the gift exchange (which sounds like extra work for you) maybe you could have kids draw names so that everyone gives and receives one gift. You are still doing the activity but on a smaller scale.

  2. Calee says:

    We let each of the kids order a present off of Amazon for their sibling. 5 minutes and done!

    • ARC says:

      This is so brilliant! I somehow thought it would be fun to have a Christmas shopping “date” with each of my daughters, but it turned out to be a huge pain to schedule. I am totally using your method next year 🙂

  3. I love your lists. I just went back over my Fall Fun list and was cool to see we did about 3/4 of the things. I think a Fun List for winter is essential! Otherwise it’s a slog of slush and darkness!

    • @Susan – I think I’m on it! A non-holiday winter fun list could be good for getting through these next few months…

  4. Kaethe Ward says:

    I love your lists too. As far as kids giving each other gifts, we draw names for “Secret Sibling” (six kids so there’s usually an element of surprise) and then they exchange gifts on the Twelfth Day of Christmas which we celebrate just as our immediate family. This gives me time to help them shop after Christmas (or order on Amazon) after they’ve opened the rest of their presents on December 25th.

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