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Christmas Bucket List

I love Christmas! I've been listening to Christmas music non-stop since Friday. When Prager goes off at 12, the Christmas comes on and helps me finish out my work day It serenades me on the way home, and plays all through the night at our house. I seriously cannot get enough. Landon is really into it this year too which makes it so much better. He gets excited when he hears the music talk about Christmas. He says "they said Christmas" or "those are the jingle bells." I love it! Kids+Christmas=Magic!

We put up his Christmas tree in his room last night. This was the first year he really participated and got into it. Thank god I got plastic ornaments for his tree when I bought it. He tried to help me decorate from his stool, but it soon became apparent only the bottom of the tree would become decorated so we broke a rule and he got to stand on his dresser to get the job done right.

There are two problems however...the first, he keeps asking when is it going to be Christmas. We started our advent calendar on Monday, which helps. At least now he can visualize how many more days until Christmas. Telling him a number, like 23 days, means nothing to a three year old. I used this calendar when I was little so a few years ago my Dad gave it to me for Landon. He loves it! 'He also has a little chocolate one, which we open every morning. That way we talk it about it in the morning and at night.

Our second problem is that he keeps saying, "when it snows it will be Christmas"...well that isn't the case in California. I've tried to explain to him over and over that snow doesn't mean Christmas, but he insists. The whole ride to school this morning was consumed with talk about snow and where it falls...on the roofs and the roads and in the trees. We are planning on taking him skiing for his birthday, but we might have to make a short drive into the mountains before Christmas just to show him some snow.

Those two issues aside, I'm really excited to share this Christmas with him. Last year, we only did a few activities, making hand print ornaments for the Grandparents and making cookies.

He loved both, so this year I decided to make a Christmas bucket list and plan some fun activities I think we will enjoy. I'm a planner and a goal setter which means I look for any reason to make a bucket list. So without further ado, here is the Lewis Family Christmas 2014 Bucket List.

Make Gingerbread houses
Ours probably won't look this good, but I scored these at Walgreens for only $7.99 a piece.

See a live nativity
I still need to find one, but they are around and although we have two nativities in our house, I think this will be the best way explain it to Landon so he can understand.

Watch at Christmas movie every weekend
Currently, we have The Muppet's Christmas on deck, but there is no shortage of other great ones to watch. I even got Home Alone, but that is for adults only.

Decorate  Sugar Cookies
This was a huge hit last year and  already have a number of cut-outs, but I also picked these up this weekend at Ikea (for $2). I just know Landon will love the 3-D cookies.

Make snowflakes
I've got the supplies, now I just need to make them.

Send out Christmas Cards-check!
First time in a few years too. So proud of myself!

Make Marshmellow krispie treat trees

Visit the Christmas Lights at the Oakland Zoo
Driving around in this city isn't ideal and I have no idea where the big lit up houses are, but that's ok because the Oakland Zoo does a big light event and in California, being outside to see lights doesn't mean freezing!. Now, I just have to convince Adam to go to Oakland,.

Take a trip to Solvang, CA to visit a German Christmas town
My dream is a European trip at Christmas time and so when I first read about Solvang, a quaint little German town in California I knew we'd have to visit at Christmas time. They have all kinds of events and activites for the holiday. I still really want to visit the real thing, but this will do for a year maybe two.

Try some hot chocolate
This will be a first for Landon and I know the perfect place, Ghiradelli Square.

Go ice skating
Union Square, which also has the city tree, has a huge ice skating ring which is supposed to be the best in the nation. Our plans are to visit this Sunday if the weather is nice. It will be interesting to see how Landon does on ice skates. I think once he gets the hang of it, he will love it.

Get ONE good family Christmas picture
Last year, we took our Christmas picture just before Midnight Mass and Landon was not all too happy to have been woken up. I'm hoping this year we can get a really good family picture. I don't care if we are dressed up or not, I just want something to remember this Christmas.This is my favorite impromptu from last year. We had a little fun decorating the kids tree.

Celebrate Saint Nicholas (Dec. 6th)
Saint Nicholas is a great story for children to learn about giving and not just receiving. I'd like to have Landon donate something of his (maybe some clothes) or buy a toy for a kid in need. We will also leave his shoes out and put candy in them. You can read more about it HERE.

See the big tree downtown at Union Square
Hope to get this checked off this weekend along with ice skating which is located in the same place. I've always wanted to go to Time Square for Christmas and this may be just as good.

Make Christmas signs
We have a large bookcase I'm trying to fill with Christmas decor. I bought two small canvases for a fun craft, but I wasn't sure exactly what to do with them until I saw THIS. I LOVE this idea, but for my craft, I'm going to paint one red and one green and then use glitter paper (easy way out) to cut out letters and glue on top. I haven't decided what they will say yet, but I think it will be cute.

Cut down a Christmas Tree
Northern California has a number of Christmas Tree farms with a number of varieties to choose from. Saturday, we plan on visiting nearby Half Moon Bay to find the perfect tree. Picking out a tree was one of the few things Landon loved last year so we are going to step it up a notch and cut one ourselves this year.

Have a Tree Decorating Party
Last year Landon enjoyed decorating the tree for about 20 minutes then he moved on. This year, I'm going to make it a little party with treats and music and try to make it as fun as possbile for him. I think he will enjoy it.

Meet Santa Clause
Because every kid needs to tell him what he wants for Christmas.

Attend Midnight Mass at the Cathedral
This is an absolute must and my favorite few hours of the entire year. Last year even Landon stayed awake for the entire mass. Nothing means Christmas like Midnight Mass.

Listen to carolers
Not sure where we will do this yet, but I'm keeping a look out for special events.

Go see real reindeer
I remember going to see reindeer when I was a little kid at Lake Forest and thinking it was so neat. Landon might be little young this year, but animals are always fun. Luck for us, Golden Gate Park brings in a few for the holiday season.

Have a nightly advent reading
I don't have a nightly reading book, but I did find them online HERE. They are short and yet keep the meaning of Christmas alive throughout the season.

So there you have it. We will be having a lot of fun and tradition for the month of December. Can't wait to share it!

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