Wednesday, December 18, 2019

7 Questions Christmas Edition - PART II

- ONE -
Do you spend the same amount of money on each kid?

As of right now we don't.  I mentioned last week that we do three gifts for each kid, a Santa gift and then a stocking.  With my kids ages right now it's more about keeping the number of gifts the same instead of the cost.  For example, one year each of my boys got an iPad from Santa and Griffin got a scooter.  I'm sure as they get older we'll have to be a little more conscious about keeping the money the same, but for right now it works! 

- TWO -
What's your favorite thing to bring to a holiday potluck?

OOOOH!!!  What a fun question!   If I can get my hands on  Captain Rodney's pepper glaze I love bringing  this dip because it is always such a huge hit...

If it's a more casual party  this queso is TO DIE FOR...

And  this tortellini soup is a crowd favorite and surprisingly easy.

and again... it would depend on the type of event but hands down my favorite thing to bring to a potluck is "Lisa's creamed corn".  Dave's aunt made this all the time and it is indescribably good.  Any time I bring it to anything I get asked for the recipe. It's actually more of a "creamy corn" than a creamed corn - just trust me and make it.

What's your gift wrapping routine?  I have a love/hate relationship with wrapping!

I LOVE wrapping gifts, but if I'm going to spend all this time and energy wrapping gifts I want to enjoy them all month :) hahaha  I'm a notoriously early shopper (December is just too busy to shop) and so I typically have everything bought and wrapped by the time I put up my tree at the end of November and I love having all the sparkly packages under the tree.  We've always done it this way and the kids haven't ever really bothered with the packages after the initial inspection although Mason HATES having to look at them all month "because I just want to KNOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!"  It's a good lesson in patience :) hahaha

- FOUR -
Do you ever struggle with Santa as a Christian?  I never did but my in-laws have me feeling guilty!

I received several similar questions to this one... balancing Jesus and Santa, keeping the focus on Jesus, etc. and I think that this question is so important!  Both Dave and I grew up with Santa and it didn't "confuse" either of us or make either of us feel like we couldn't believe in God after or that everything that we had believed in was also a lie.  And I think that's mainly because neither one of us felt like our parent had been lying to us... it was more about having a big secret revealed and then getting to be part of it.  

Also, God and Santa were never "competing" over Christmas.  Santa was a fun, special thing that showed up at Christmas time and Jesus was in our house daily throughout the year.  I think that confusion can come up with kids when Jesus and Santa both only show up in December.

We're definitely of the mentality that it doesn't have to be an either/or with Santa and Jesus... it can totally be both!

As far as keeping the focus on the true meaning of Christmas we do a couple of different advent readings at night throughout December and our school does a wonderful job of keeping the focus on Christ as well through books, activities, class parties, etc.

If you visit  THIS POST I've shared the video of how we talked to Luke about Santa and tied that into Jesus as well.

- FIVE -
What is your FAVORITE Christmas cookie/treat recipe? 

Nanaimo bars!!!  They're a Canadian treat that I make about twice a year and they're THE BEST!!! I also make my grandmother's shortbread (it's the one I use the cookie press for) and again, they're a Christmas specialty. 

- SIX -
What's Your Christmas Day Routine?

We will set an alarm upstairs so that the kids know they can't come downstairs before a certain point.  Usually it's something like 7 a.m. :)  I think that this year we may start doing what my parents did for me and my brother did growing up which was leaving our stockings at the feet of our beds so that if we woke up early we could start going through them together.  If we end up doing this we'll still set an alarm or do something else to give them an "ok time" for coming downstairs.

We will typically go through our stockings first, then the kids will open their Santa gifts first if they're unwrapped.  Then the kids will open gifts from Dave and I and they'll open any gifts that they have from each other.  

My parents usually come over mid-morning and we eat brunch and we open more presents and then mid-afternoon we head to Dave's aunt and uncle's house for a late lunch.

Here's a video from Christmas morning 2018 :) 

What's your favorite Christmas memory... both from your childhood and that you've experienced as a mom.

As a mom it's 100% the Christmas that I was pregnant with Griffin.... and if I'm being honest the day was kind of a poop show :)  I remember the boys being super whiney, I was so excited to give Luke new sheets for his room and when he was disappointed (rookie mom mistake) and I was all kinds of hormonal.  Dave and I argued about whether or not we should drive in the snow to his aunt's house that afternoon (he told me I was being dramatic, I told him he was being reckless and he ended up going without me and the boys - hahaha.  Being married to a pregnant lady is super fun). Later that night (spoiler alert - nobody crashed goign to his aunt's house) we took the boys to my parents house for dinner they were 100% toddlers and I was 100% overwhelmed.  I was SO SWOLLEN already and remember crying in my parent's kitchen.  HOT MESS EXPRESS.

So HOW ON EARTH is this my favorite Christmas memory?!?!   It's because that morning we had woken up on Christmas to more snow than we've ever had and Luke and I decided to walk home from my parents that night after dinner and I will NEVER forget holding his little hand and walking home through that snow.  It was silent and still and holding hands and listening to our boots crunch in the snow was just the best.  After a pretty crappy day (yes, sometimes that happens - even on Christmas!) it was just such a sweet time with him and one of my very favorite Christmas memories.

One of my favorite childhood Christmas memories is staying up late on Christmas Eve after church playing sjoelbak.  It's a Dutch shuffleboard-type game and we would play, eat shortbread and stay up too late.  The sweetest part is that this is what we do now with our kids!  

This post was so much fun to write and I so appreciate all of the questions y'all submitted.  

HAPPY Wednesday, friends!!!


  1. My kids are 30 and 25 and we still do 3 presents and one Santa gift LOL and they are never even in cost. I also agree and raised my kids with the same perspective of Santa and Jesus. I like how you put it, Jesus is in your house all the time; Santa just comes at Christmas.

    1. Love that you still do 3 presents and a santa gift!!! Merry (almost) Christmas, Ann!

  2. What a sweet memory walking hand in hand in the snow. Those are the type of things you never forget:)

  3. "I think that confusion can come up with kids when Jesus and Santa both only show up in December."
    Wow! I think you just hit the nail on the head. As the old joke goes, "Today's Easter sermon: Where have y'all been since Christmas?" Thanks for a lovely blog.

    1. I think that it can feel like they're "competing" for Christmas if Jesus doesn't stick around all year as a constant. Merry (almost!) Christmas!

    2. Yes! 100 percent agree with "I think that confusion can come up with kids when Jesus and Santa both only show up in December." We do both but Jesus is year round for our family and our kids know that. We do 3 gifts a piece also.

  4. I so enjoy reading about your family and getting wonderful ideas for my grand kids. My son in law is a teacher and I often share resources from your blog with him. You have shared some recipes that we have really enjoyed - my husband has ALS so we have to be careful due to choking. This has been a rough year with his progression but I do enjoy catching up with your family each day!

    1. I'm so glad that you've enjoyed the recipes, Becky! ALS is AWFUL - praying that this year is one of slow progression and lots of great memories. Thanks so much for reading and following along!

  5. So much fun to see how others "do" Christmas. Merry Christmas to my favorite "extra" blogger! ;)

  6. God bless you and your sweet family! Your blog blesses me tremendously

  7. I love your favorite Christmas memory as a mom! If we're being honest, we've all had holidays that weren't exactly "merry" but that you were able make a favorite memory out of it speaks volumes about who you are! Merry Almost Christmas, Andrea:)


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