Tuesday, December 22, 2015

We Need a Little (Jewish) Christmas, 2015

Christmas with toddlers
The only thing more frightening than a Jew on a ladder is three Jews on a ladder.
I'm back from my tropical "vacation", if that's the word one would use to describe being trapped in an airplane with two children who enjoyed using the seats as a jungle gym.  Consider this my public apology to all of our fellow passengers; just count yourselves lucky that you didn't have to go home with these hellions after the plane landed.

Now, of course, in addition to unpacking half a dozen suitcases and wrangling two jet lagged kids, I have to get ready for Christmas.  I'd like to tell you that I learned my lesson from last year (and the year before) and that I finished my shopping before we left on our trip, but that would be a big fat lie.  And it's only okay to tell a lie when your BFF asks if she looks fat in her new dress.  

Hanukkah activities for toddlers
We celebrated the heck out of Hanukkah before we left for Hawaii - latkes, rugelach and gelt were consumed in mass quantities - so I feel as though we really did it right for the Festival of Lights this year.  As the kids get older they find the story of the miracle of the oil, as well as the Hanukkah songs and games to be a whole lot of fun.  The presents don't hurt either, of course.

make your own menorah candles
We even made our own menorah candles which was a fun activity, despite the fact that I got roped into doing it before 8am on a Saturday, because, kids.

christmas activities for toddlers christmas in LA
We did manage to get our Christmas tree (Hanukkah bush?) up and decorated before we left, thereby sparing me from having to chose from the few dead pines left at our local tree lot three days before Christmas.

christmas with kids christmas activities for toddlers
If you haven't yet had the pleasure of decorating a tree with "help" from your children, I envy you.  After several rounds of the Little Lady yanking on garland and removing two ornaments for every three I put on, I finally resigned myself to having one of those trees that's beautifully decorated... from five feet off the floor. 

quirky christmas tree decorations
Pro tip: I suggest that you begin a tradition of decorating the tree while your kids are sleeping, thereby surprising them with the beauty of the thing when they wake up in the morning.  This ensures that your tree actually gets decorated, since having a naked tree sitting in a tangled pile of ornaments and garland doesn't exactly scream "festive".

one potato meal box
This morning we made gingerbread cookies because it wouldn't be the holidays without your children covering themselves in flour and spilling sprinkles all over your kitchen, amiright?  Lest you think I'm some sort of Super Mom who whips up cookie dough before 9am, the gingerbread came in last week's One Potato box, so I didn't have to do much except roll it out.

Since Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without your children decimating an entire room full of wrapped gifts in less than five minutes, this afternoon I'll be joining the hordes of other unprepared holiday shoppers at my local mall.  Because nothing puts me in the holiday spirit quite like traffic, lack of parking, and fighting fellow shoppers over the last pair of Ugg slippers in a size 10.

Assuming I survive my last minute shopping expeditions, I plan to reward myself with a very stiff Holiday cocktail...or three.

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