I LOVE traditions! It doesn’t matter how big or small. My parents always made Christmas such a special time for my brothers and me, so I knew I wanted to do the same for the girls. Now I know they won’t remember anything from this year, but that is ok because we still have lots of great pictures to show them.
For me, Christmas starts the day after Thanksgiving. On this day, it is socially acceptable to start listening to Christmas music 24/7. The Pandora “Christmas” station is on in our house the majority of the waking hours of the day. We took a trip to Magnolia Market to check out all their Christmas decorations. Olivia picked up a wreath ornament made of jingle bells before we even realized it. Both she and Emma were so excited about it that we got one for each as their first ornament.
Growing up we always had an artificial Christmas tree, but when Austin and I got married, I insisted on a live Christmas tree. Going to get our tree was a bit of an adventure this year. We started at Home Depot like we usually do, but they had hardly any trees, which was a shocker to us. While I Googled “where to buy a Christmas tree in College Station”, some new loud noises made Emma start crying hysterically which then made Olivia cry. Thankfully I found a tree lot just down the street, and we hurried out to our car as fast as we could. Side note to anyone looking for a Christmas tree in College Station, save yourself the hassle and just go directly to the Farm Patch Christmas Tree lot on University Dr. I think we may have looked a little disheveled walking into the tree lot carrying two babies with swollen red eyes from crying because the kind manager came up to us right away to give us a run-down of the lot. We were in and out in 15 minutes with a gorgeous tree! After the girls went to bed that night, we put on Christmas music and started decorating so the girls could be in for a Christmas surprise in the morning. We opened our family Christmas jammies from Burt’s Bees that night to kickoff the Christmas season.
Christmas Cards are another tradition I love about the holidays. I look forward to both sending and receiving cards. We leave all our friends’ and family’s Christmas card photos up well into the spring. The girls love sitting by the door where we hang them, just studying all the pictures. One of Austin’s classmates is an excellent photographer and took some family photos for us this year. Trying to capture two 8-month-old twins is no small feat, but he succeeded and I can confidently say this was our cutest card yet. For the last few years, I have used Mixbook to create our card because they offer great customization options for a good price.
I had to be in Dallas for work the first week of December and Austin had exams, so my parents met me to help with the girls. We stayed at the Four Seasons – Las Colinas, which was decorated impeccably for Christmas. The girls LOVED the huge tree in the lobby. Since my parents were going to be in California for Christmas, they gave the girls a little Christmas present each night. It was so fun to see them excited over the wrapping paper and then realize there was even something else underneath it. When I was little, my grandma started the tradition of giving me an ornament each year. My mom carried on the tradition with the girls by getting them an ornament too. Before my mom left, we visited Highland Park Village, which puts thousands of lights in all their trees. The girls were in complete awe of all the sparkly lights.
Another Christmas tradition is putting up Christmas lights on the house and driving around on “sleigh rides” to look at the lights in the neighborhood. The day we put up the lights, it was still 75 degrees out so the girls and I decided to give Austin moral support by sitting on a blanket on the front lawn. At night, we flipped on the lights and pulled the girls outside to see them all. By the look of amazement on their faces, I would say they approved. College Station in general goes all out for Christmas. They even decorate a park called Central Park in over a million lights during the holidays. One night we bundled the girls up in their stroller and took a walk through the park to see them all. We also took multiple strolls around our neighborhood with Christmas music playing from my phone to look at the lights. The girls would yell and squeal for their favorite houses.
Sweaters: Gap | Beanies: Old Navy (old), Similar
Christmas Eve we headed to Waco to see Austin’s family. We went to Christmas Eve church service and the girls loved the musicians playing music in the lobby and the candles at the end of the service. It was so special to celebrate the birth of our Savior with our sweet girls. We then headed to Austin’s aunts house to celebrate with all the aunts, uncles and cousins. The girls squealed with delight at all the action and slept fantastic on the car ride home. We slipped them into their Christmas jammies and tucked them into bed.
I imagine this will be our last “slow” Christmas morning for a while. When we heard the girls starting to stir, we turned on the Christmas music, brewed some coffee and got their bottles ready. They enjoyed their milk while we enjoyed our coffee. We all jumped on the couch and Austin read the Christmas story from Luke before we started opening presents. The girls were so excited with every new gift. Their musical instruments, ball pit, magnetic letters and wagon were all big hits. For breakfast I made egg strata and sticky cinnamon bread, which were my favorites from Christmas morning growing up. The girls got to try some and thought they were pretty yummy.Christmas afternoon, Austin’s parents came into town and we made an early dinner before heading to Santa’s Wonderland. Santa’s Wonderland claims to be the largest Christmas attraction in Texas, so I had pretty high hopes. It did not disappoint. I would say it is an equivalent to a Disneyland (on a smaller scale) dedicated just to Christmas. It was absolutely magical walking the girls around the winter village, taking a hay ride through a forest of lights and even having some “snow” at the end of the night while watching the campfire. If you are ever in Texas around Christmas time, I HIGHLY recommend making the trip.
Peacoat: Gap | Beanies: Old Navy (old), Similar
Christmas was such a joy this year with the girls, and I cannot wait for all the ones to come!