Actually, Sarah was very good about making family time and being with us and her grandparents and her cousins and aunt & uncle. The break was just too short!
Since we lost our first day with her as a result of "Winter Storm Decima", we had to have our new tree decorating tradition on Sunday. First the girls got their new ornaments. That's not a new tradition. And I can't decide if Sarah should still get ornaments every year or not, now that she's in college and being an adult. But since she's a poor college student and I love her a lot, I bought her one anyway.
Sarah got an arrow...because arrows are all the rage and because when I saw it I thought of her and how she is fast and is on a great adventure being away at college.
Bethany got an ornament that said, "Do Re Mi" because she's in The Sound of Music this year and she's one of the Von Trapp children. And the children sing "Do Re Mi."
Becca got a super sparkly Eiffel Tower because she's super sparkly and loves Paris.
And poor Elise. She got a red truck with a Christmas tree in the back...for two reasons...1) I couldn't find anything else. 2) We bought an artificial tree this year and we didn't have our traditional trek to the Christmas tree farm to hunt for trees and drink hot cocoa and sit by the wood stove and since she's the youngest, she will have the fewest traditional Christmas tree treks, so the truck with the tree is to help her remember.
It wasn't easy for me to give up a 40+ year tradition of the Christmas tree trek. I agonized over it. But after finding a tree we liked, and realizing that the local Christmas tree farms were running out of trees (& we had been planning to go *after* Sarah got home), we made the decision and I am happy with it. The tree was very tall and it was beautiful.
Since we gave up that tradition, the girls said we needed a new tradition. So I thought and thought and thought (& asked advice from friends) about what could replace walking around in the mud looking at trees and eating donuts by the wood stove.
Well, not one new tradition could replace that, so I came up with two. The first was that we got very special donuts from the special donut place to eat by the light of the tree after it was all decorated. This new tradition went over very well.
The 2nd new tradition was a walk at one of my favorite places on the planet, Boulevard Park. And since it was SNOWING when we went there, our new tradition started off in a magical way. It was like Narnia, and it was quiet and beautiful and fun. Now if we could just guarantee it would snow every year...
I don't know who does this, but the tree-lined portion of the trail was all decorated with Christmas ornaments!!
Since there happens to be a Woods at Boulevard and teachers always get Woods gift cards at Christmas, I treated my family to special hot cocoas and coffees and all that yummy warm goodness.
It was basically a perfect day.
More traditions include going out for dinner with gift cards from school and driving around to see Christmas lights afterward...
And of course decorating cookies.
We were also blessed with a fun dinner & games night with our favorite voice teacher and her family.
And this was all in Sarah's first 5 days at home! It was a great start to a great Christmas break!