We also did our Christmas celebration, since Andrew and I will be in Florida for Christmas this year. The highlight, as always, was our homemade gifts. Molly made dot-painted boxes filled with recipe cards of the best recipes she made this year; for Lucia and Greta, she made boxes of elf donuts from Cheerios; Mom and Dad created a photo book with detailed, photographed instructions on making scrippelles; and I made tiny bird-nest ornaments from acorn caps I collected in our yard, plus folded book sculptures.
We came back home to a tough week. Andrew left the day after our return for a business trip to Mexico, so the girls and I went from constant fun (them) and help (me) to...regular life, without Andrew. It was one of the toughest parenting weeks I've had. Mostly it was Greta rearing her two-year-old monster head; but Lucia held her own as well in the make-Mama's-life-impossible department. When Andrew said it was possible for him to come home a day early, I said YES. BOOK THE FLIGHT NOW. Some sanity, at least, remained intact.
Things got brighter after that. We got our Christmas tree and decorated the house. Andrew put up lights outside (only to then have two sections of a brand-new strand stop working). I made red-ribboned swags out of spare pine boughs. We got out all the Christmas books (and I alarmed the girls when I read them Polar Express, new for us this year, and promptly began crying when I got to the last page). Lucia and Greta have been swept away by the holiday episodes of Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins.