Christmas in Full Force

Today was one of those non-stop days where you’re not quite sure how you could have gotten in any more activities.

First off, Mike and I both went for morning runs (I run once Mike gets back). After a warm, healthy breakfast, Mike took both the kids grocery shopping while I went for my run. It was a brisk barely-30-degrees morning.

We all reconvened at the house and went on our Christmas tree hunt! Our all-time-favorite tree farm closed two years ago and we were determined not to go to the same place we went last year (it was awful). So today, we drove 40+ minutes out to a new place in Allegan, Leber Tree Farms. This was a smaller, family-run tree farm. They had a wagon ride out to the trees and hot cocoa when we were done. It was a win. We managed to get a pretty nice fir! After that, we stopped by downtown Allegan for lunch at another mom-pop place. The kids were doing great.

We got home and got through 90% of our Christmas decorating – tree(s), stockings, various festive looking things and almost all of our outdoor decorations situated too. Unfortunately, as soon as we finished decorating the tree, one of the strings of lights went out. Mike ended up removing that string and replacing it and then we had to replace all the ornaments that fell during the light removal.

After the decorating was completed, we worked on gingerbread houses! We bought a ‘village’ – which was just all the gingerbread pre-made and you assemble and then decorate. We completed assembly and tomorrow we plan to finish the decorating.

Since we were running out of time, pizza for dinner before we headed out to the annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony near the Portage Library. Before the ceremony, we all went to a nearby church which holds a neat Tour of Bethlehem – complete with a real living baby Jesus, sheep, even a camel. The kids love it because they get hot cocoa and cookies. I think this is the third or fourth year we’ve gone.

Our tour ended just in time for the lighting ceremony – with readings of ‘Why I love Portage’ and caroling. Tonight was nice and chilly, but by this time the kids are getting a little tired. After they light the tree (and all the lights in the park around the library) we all walked to the Celery Flats. This is about a quarter mile walk! There, they had more caroling, lots of treats, reindeer for petting, a reading of the Night Before Christmas and then Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived in a horse-drawn carriage. There were lots of people there so we pretty much left after that. We read the story of the Elf on the Shelf and now the kids are OUT.

I’m not too far behind them, but it was such a great day I didn’t want to forget about it.

Here’s a link to our album from today.