Sunday, December 7, 2014

Advent, Days 5 & 6 {a concert, St. Nicholas' Day, and a tree}

Nell eagerly climbs up on a chair and stands on tippy toes to open the day's little door on the Advent calendar each morning.  Friday's slip of paper read: "Today we get to go to a Christmas concert!"

A local orchestra {one with which I have played dozens of concerts over the past few years} was doing a 4:00 pm children's Christmas program, and we had decided it would be quite fun for all four of us to attend a concert together, rather than the usual for us of shuffling kids between the two of us while one or the other of us plays a gig here or there.  I wasn't playing this concert, and Nathan was able to take the time to go, so I got everyone ready, picked up Nathan from the train station after his work day, and we headed to Lexington.

The girls wore their matching Christmas dresses from Aunt Emily!

Unfortunately, trying to get a cute picture of two wiggly little girls at the same time is nearly impossible.

Evidence of the impossibility... these were the best of about twelve attempts:

Nell really enjoyed the concert.  She nearly danced out of my lap with joyous enthusiasm during some of the songs.

When we got home, we enjoyed a pizza dinner and then the all-important activity of putting out her shoes for St. Nicholas.

Which brings us to Saturday's Advent activities...

It was St. Nicholas' Day!

Wait on the stairs until Daddy is here, too...

Did St. Nicholas come?  Let's open the door and see!

St. Nicholas brought us some little Christmas books!  What presence of mind he must have had to put those items inside the storm door so they didn't get wet in the rain!

Outside on the front steps, two little pairs of shoes had chocolate coins in them.  And a pomegranate, too -- however did that St. Nicholas know how much Nell loves them?

Later that morning, we read the book about St. Nicholas.  He lived a long time ago.

"Do you think it was really St. Nicholas that brought you chocolate and fruit and books, or was it Mommy and Daddy pretending and being generous like St. Nicholas was?"

"It was Mommy!"

The Advent calendar for Saturday declared the day's activity to be getting a Christmas tree, so naturally, it had to be done that day -- despite torrential rain and the fact that Daddy didn't get home from work (yes, working on a Saturday!) until dinner time.

We bundled the girls up and headed off to select our tree.  Poor Miss Marie screamed the whole way there, but calmed down once I lifted her from her seat and zipped her up into my jacket.


Daddy selected a tree while I tried to keep the kids out of the downpour under a tarp, watching from a wet distance.

Both girls screamed all the way home; Nell because Daddy had forgotten to help her put her hands into her pockets after buckling her in, and Marie because tired tired tired someone please nurse me and put me to bed.

Things were bad, and I was thinking, "The moral of the story is, don't ever try to do anything fun with your kids. Ever. Ever."

But then Nell danced in circles with a pink balloon she had gotten at a party earlier in the day while Daddy and Uncle Andrew carried the tree in, and she oohed and ahhed over it, and I nearly forgot all the screaming.

We all survived with the fortitude to tackle the rest of Advent's activities.  Like getting that tree decorated.


  1. I love the picture of Nell peaking around the corner of the stairway! Such suspense and wonder! What fun memories you are creating!

  2. Ha! It always takes us multiple days to get our tree set up, decorated, and put lights on it, too... and we don't even get a real tree! All we have to do is haul the plastic one upstairs from the basement. Last week it was a 5-day process... one evening to set up the tree, one evening to put on some homemade ornaments, and then 3 more days spent looking for the other box of collected ornaments from previous years until we finally found it. :) It's good to break it up, though... manageable chunks of excitement are better for the kids! At least that's what I tell myself!

  3. Oh, what wonderful photos! And we take ages to get the tree decorated and such. I tell the kids that Advent is all about preparing, and preparation is something that happens over time. :-) And really, I can only handle so much chaos at once - getting the tree, setting it up, putting lights on and then ornaments all one day would just about do me in. In fact, I'm pretty sure it would do me in!

    Thanks for sharing these little peeks into your Advent!