Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Advent 2012

This month I put together a fun advent calendar. 

Last year I did little buckets, this year had little envelope bags with a Christmas Joke, a fun activity (like make reindeer food, polar express pj day, sing the 12 days of Christmas 12 times, and so forth) and a little treat.  Some of the major activities in it were:

1. The lights at Temple Square

2. The Grand America Holiday Scavenger Hunt
This is a new tradition that we started last year. They change their window displays inside the Grand America Hotel downtown and take you on a scavenger hunt. Last year it was a penguin hunt. This year it was matching countries to their Christmas Greeting. Ryan and I loved it almost more than the kids. The displays are amazing. Then you turn in your sheet and get a free sugar cookie. This year we went too late in the evening and the bakery was closed. Bummer. We might just have to go this year just for the cookie treat! Here are the window displays. They are so much better in person - so GO see them if you can.








One of the candy windows at Macy's. Three of the windows were broken and not spinning, but it was still fun to see the large candy ornaments. The kids were salivating pretty hard :)

After Temple Square, Macy's candy windows and Grand America, we took the train back to our car. Finley was not a happy camper. He was great for the first half of the evening, but then had a tough time after that and he just wanted to go home. These grumpy pictures prove it :)


3. Gingerbread Houses
We decorated the little village houses from our favorite kit. I know some people don't like kits, but for us, it is perfect. Five little houses for the price of one, and I don't have to bake a thing. Score on so many levels. We busted out all the leftover Halloween candy and decorated away. It was so much fun. Berlin did the bakery (the roof looks like the top of a cupcake) and the reindeer hut, Finley the elves workshop (he used all the sour patch kids for the roof tiles), Ryan the snowman hut (complete with 3 different snowman - too cute), and I did the witches' house from Hansel & Gretel. The kids thought it was weird, but it was the perfect way to use up all the sweet tart bones & skull candy we had. This is one of our "sweetest" traditions.

4. The Nutcracker Ballet at the Capitol Theater downtown
The last time I saw the Nutcracker was when I was about 6 or 7. My brownie troop went to see it and I don't remember much more than that. Berlin however loves ballet and the theater so we thought that this would be the year we took the kids. I can't believe how pricey it is to go, even the matinees are pricey. But it was worth it. Berlin couldn't take her eyes off the pretty ballerinas and their sparkly costumes. Finley did great, but about 3/4ths of the way through he was kinda done. Now we can check that off our bucket list of things to do with the kids - at least for another 5 years or more.


Berlin was so cute. We had seats on the front row of the Grand Tier, right in the middle. We could look down onto the stage and see the orchestra pit. As they started playing the music, Berlin looked all around her, then leaned over and says to me, "where is the radio coming from?" I told her that the people in the pit were making the music on their instruments. She looks back all wide-eyed and says, "Now THAT's impressive!"  Too cute. I laughed for a good 5 minutes. She watched most the ballet like this (below). 



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