Last year, he was only 4 months old, so while it was fun, he had absolutely no idea what was going on! This year he knows what a Christmas tree is, loves to eat candy canes, and points out every Santa Clause he sees in the stores. It has been so fun involving him more in our traditions this year. He was able to help us decorate the tree, make Christmas cookies with us, do fun crafts, and learn about Jesus being born.
Our Christmas season started with driving to Springfield, MO with my family to take a picture with Santa Clause at Bass Pro Shop. We've done this for the last 14 years because they use the same Santa every year and he looks so "real." Caeden didn't cry as he approached Santa, but he was definitely nervous:
Then there was the decorating of the tree. We strategically started decorating right before his bedtime so he could "help" put on a few ornaments and then go to bed. Reid and I took it from there. Here is a picture of him putting our first ornament on the tree:
It was really hard for him to learn not to touch the tree, but I have to say he's doing a great job! I think he was in time-out enough the first few days that he figured out we were serious. But he will walk up to it, stand two inches away, and just stare at an ornament. Or sometimes he'll "smell" the tree. HA!
We also made sure to take lots of pictures with the lights on our Square.
Also, Caeden, Ella, and I did a few Christmas crafts each week, which was so fun! We have "Table Time" every day. This is when we have a short Bible lesson, sing songs, color, etc. So now, when I tell them it's Table Time, they both run to the table, so excited! Caeden loves seeing his finished crafts hanging around the house. On December 1st, I started doing Advent with them both. It's so great because now I'll show him the picture of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and he can point to Jesus and Mary. We've talked a lot about how "Jesus was born" on Christmas. I tried to do lots of fun, concrete activities to teach them this and we've all three had so much fun!!!
Then last night we baked and decorated our traditional Christmas cookies. My family has made these since I was little, EVERY Christmas!! It's my grandma's homemade sugar cookie and icing recipe. We did it with Caeden last year, but it was more of posing with the cookies. This year he actually helped us cut a few cookies out of the dough and got to decorate two!! He then ate one of the two right before bed! It was so fun and I was so impressed with how he actually put the icing on the cookie and spread it around....like he knew exactly what to do!
We have thoroughly enjoyed this Christmas season with Caeden and know that each year will only get better! We are traveling to Missouri on Wednesday and will be there for a week visitng family. I pray that we all remember the reason we celebrate Christmas....which is the fact that our Messiah finally made his glorious (but humbling) entry into our world! Thank you Jesus for coming to save us! Merry Christmas!