December was essentially a month of craziness. We left town for California on December 19, and I am pretty sure we had activities to be to, meetings to attend, or Christmas events of our own we wanted to do on sixteen or seventeen of those days. So I was quite happy that Asher and Lila were very good sports about being my little elves and helping out with various projects.
The first thing they helped with was making candy cane kiss cookies. We made 10 dozen, no joke. They unwrapped allllllllll the candy cane kisses, which was perfect because I got to focus on dough + scooping out cookies + baking. They didn't even steal very many treats, which was nice. I was actually quite surprised at how awesome Lila was at unwrapping the chocolates. I really didn't think she would be able to do it, but she was totally fine.
Asher also helped me mix the dough for the cookies. We did a few recipes of cake cookies, which you mix by hand, and he was more than happy to lend the armpower. Unfortunately, we ran out of cake mixes and had to do from-scratch cookies, so we had to pull out the Kitchenaid. He and Lila were both more than happy to lend a hand adding ingredients to the bowl.
Next came the packaging! I cut a sample length of ribbon, then showed Asher how to measure out the next piece using the sample as a guide. He took over the job and was so methodical and focused and did great!
Our family got to be elves one night when we did one day of the 12 days of Christmas. The boys were SUPER pumped to ding dong ditch. I let them deliver the present, then gave them quite a headstart before ringing and running. Man is that a rush.
The kids also helped decorate! They love having a say in where certain items go. Lila used our nativity blocks to make towers over and over again. She was proud of herself every single time.
The boys each made me a nativity to go with our collection. Reed used a box from one of his birthday presents to create a special case for his picture. Asher was so sweet one day at church and was super worried about saving the program. He wanted to carry it with him to primary, but Ryan talked Asher into letting Ryan take care of it. After church, the first thing Asher wanted was his program. Then he disappeared into his room. A while later, he came out with a present he'd wrapped for my birthday. It was a little early, but he wanted me to open it. He'd cut out the picture from the front of the program (a nativity), then colored it for me. He also cut out the tiny strip of paper from the back of the program that has my name and phone number. So sweet!
And, of course, our lego nativities made the lineup.
Every year we have a real tree we cut a slice to keep. (Except for 2012, where we lived at my parents' house and must have lost our slice.) This year I decided to display them! The penguins we've had since the year Reed was born and are one of my favorite decorations.
And here is our advent/Santa central with snowflakes we made one night for a fun activity! Honestly, we didn't do our advent every night but it did get us doing a lot more activities. We had another advent hanging on the boys' door that had a scripture/church video for each night. We did keep up with that one pretty well and I definitely plan on doing it again!