Festive (and how we did on the 2021 holiday fun list)

This was a fairly festive weekend. On Saturday, most of us (my daughter was at a friend’s house) went to Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey. They’d decorated many of the tanks for Christmas, and there was something so whimsical about seeing sharks swim around a giant (pretend) Christmas tree. Plus Scuba Santa was there! The toddler has never done the visit-Santa thing, so this was his first experience. I guess as far as he knows they all swim around in giant tanks.

(I love this picture of the 6-year-old holding up the toddler so he can get a better view…)

I also took the two older boys to the Pennsylvania Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker on Sunday. It was probably not quite as exciting as Spiderman (which they saw Friday night) but I think they enjoyed it. I certainly did! I love the snowflake dance in particular, though sadly this year they didn’t have the boy choir accompanying it. I did get a bonus musical festive moment on Sunday though: at church the music director played Bach’s Wachet Auf as the prelude. This is my favorite piece of organ Christmas music, and it’s always a treat to hear it.

This morning I looked back on my 2021 holiday fun list, and I think I’ve basically hit everything at this point. We saw several holiday displays, including LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo, Longwood Christmas, the Morris Arboretum Garden Railway, the Brandywine River Museum’s holiday train show, and then the get-up at the aquarium. (We also went ice skating downtown, and that was decorated for Christmas.) My husband and I went to his office holiday party, and I managed to make some of my existing clothes work. We went out for dinner for my birthday. I’ve been playing lots of Christmas carols on the piano. The 12-year-old and 10-year-old and I constructed the “Visit from Santa” Lego display, and we’re about a quarter of the way through the Elf Clubhouse. Will we finish by Christmas? We shall see!

I have not bought a whole lot of holiday flowers for the house, though we do have a poinsettia, which we bought at the 14-year-old’s holiday choir concert. We also have two amaryllis plants which are sprouting and budding rapidly. I have been reading some Christmas stories with the 6-year-old, though he has now graduated to reading by himself, and has really gotten into the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, so he’s been hustling me along to get through the Christmas stories so he can read. Oh well. I think the (now almost) 2-year-old might be willing to sit through the stories next year!

All that’s left to do is go to the Christmas Eve stuff: the live nativity at church, and the service of lessons and carols. Well, and some more wrapping. But I’m happy looking back at how many festivities we’ve managed to fit into the last 6 weeks or so. That’s a lot of memories — which is the point of these seasonal fun lists, and why I keep making them.


5 thoughts on “Festive (and how we did on the 2021 holiday fun list)

  1. Lots of fun things on your list! I did not end up doing as many holiday-ish things as I would have liked, although I did the basics (cards, tree, gift-buying, and cookie baking). My daughter-in-law’s niece was a mouse in the Philadelphia Ballet Nutcracker (we were not able to get to it, and she told everyone that all the mice all look alike anyway :). I did manage to get to the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit in early December and had 4 very enjoyable lunches with friends this month. My husband and I also used a local “find the over the top Christmas decor” app and drove around with hot cocoa in hand Friday night to see some of the local displays. Some of them were pretty elaborate, complete with FM stations and lights that moved in time with the music. We are big kids! Merry Christmas!

    1. @BethC- Merry Christmas! That sounds like a great app – I need to find that. We don’t have too many over-the-top displays around here that I’ve found yet but it’s quite possible I just don’t know where to look. We pass a yard with two dozen inflatable snowmen on the way to karate and we always yelp about that…

  2. The holiday fun list is one of my favorite things that I’ve adopted from your ideas. We did our best with outdoor and timed ticket activities last year, but I was so happy to be back at The Nutcracker with my mom and older daughter over the weekend (zoom Nutcracker last year just wasn’t the same). Snowflakes are my favorite too. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    1. @Natalie – yep I streamed the Nutcracker last year as well and no, not the same! Loved being back in person. Here’s to normal festivities 🙂

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