Merry Pandemic Christmas!

HA! Those PJs make me laugh. What’s even funnier is why she has them. You see, last year (or year before?) we bought matching family green elf PJs at Target that looked like this (and do not say “What the Elf?”). This year, 4 days before Christmas, I realized that Zoe had grown out of hers…

Thankfully, the rest of the family was ok, but what to do? You can’t have “the whole family except Zoe” in elf pajamas, right?! So I went on Amazon and found the ones she’s wearing that would arrive on time. #winning My favorite part was listening to Ella read Zoe’s shirt, and Zoe explaining to Ella what it meant.

Another favorite part of Christmas? Putting away that Elf on the Shelf (along with her new handmade addition to the elf experience). I will not miss our “oh-crap-it’s-2-am-did-I-move-that-elf” special moments together, Sparkle Heart Gem.

But before we get to that, a lot happened over the past week. In case you missed it, we had a Christmas Star this year during Winter Solstice. “It’s been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night…” Don’t think I wasn’t outside every 5 minutes as the sun was setting trying to find it. And, though I had no fancy camera or telescope (and it looked much clearer to the naked eye), I did:

We also had dinner with Barbie.

She’s quite the eater, and I have no idea what that weird yellow thing is? As we got closer to Christmas, I took Wednesday off to spend with the girls (Bart had to work). We started the day with treat drop-offs to Zoe and Ella school friends, texting parents on the way and ding-dong-ditching on porches around the city. We also drove both cars through car washes, since we so rarely go anywhere that those cars often sit and collect dust. Plus, the girls LOVE to drive through an old school car wash filled with “monsters!”

One of Zoe’s friends passed us BACK some yummy treats on the porch – Baby Yoda sugar cookies!

Santa ate the head off one of those. That guy. On Christmas Eve, we did “virtual” Christmas caroling from the car in between drop-offs, which was a blast! The girls were counting the hours of the day, in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there. I looked back at a 2017 “Holiday Traditions” post, and we did pretty much everything on it (except the in person parts, including Santa…) and watching Polar Express. But it’s not too late for that! Just before bed, which Zoe was VERY excited to get into on Christmas Eve, Ella and I read this book a friend gave her when she was very little:

Another lovely tradition. To say we were fortunate this year is an understatement. We spent time with friends and family (online), including a not-so-secret Santa exchange with Bart’s family and a craft, reindeer antler toss and MadLibs adventure with mine. We had a pre-Christmas Zoom with close friends and played Charades, which they followed up by dropping off dinner (Crema de Pollo and tamales!) for us the following day. We did a holiday trivia and an (awful but fun) sing-a-long with Bart’s extended family, and the girls just did an American Girl doll party with a friend on Zoom today. I’m exhausted just writing about it. So, so lucky!

This kind of lucky:

And yes, we gave and received lots of presents, including lots of homemade goodies like Bart’s traditional Krumkake, which his family makes every year from all parts of the US. This year Bart scoured the Internet for a vintage electric krumkake iron, for which he received much grief from his family. We no longer have a gas stove to use his REAL krumkake iron, which requires real heat and invariably burns your fingers as you take them off to roll them… But we survived! Even Jasmine got in on the Christmas fun.

And so wraps up (get it?) another Christmas. I know it wasn’t normal, but I think having to make the best of the situation may have actually made us appreciate everything even more. And Ella said, “Mom, Christmas isn’t about the presents. It’s about spending time with your friends and family.” Of course, she didn’t turn away any presents… but still. Hope your holidays have been equally memorable and enjoyable. Merry Christmas!

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