Hello, Winter?

It's December and we're welcoming winter. Unfortunately, winter is refusing to show itself around here, but we aren't letting it stop us from getting into the spirit of the (absent) season. We started with the annual Livingston Holiday Stroll. This year I got smart and met a friend for a glass of wine before the stroll. It just makes it all the more festive. We decorated ornaments, visited a creepy Frosty the Snowman and had pictures taken with Santa. The gaggle of kids loved running around together, eating crap cookies, and ushering in the holidays.

That's a brave Santa right there.

On December 1 we started our Advent Activities. Each year I come up with 24 activities-outdoor adventures, crafts etc.--and dole them out in the lead-up to Christmas. You can see last year's here.

I don't have them all planned, yet, but on December 1, we went looking for a tree. We normally head into the woods, backpacks full of handsaws, gloves, and hot cocoa. This year the wind was blowing so fiercely we were afraid to go outside. Seven trees were blown over, a fire started in Mill Creek and countless shingles blew off roofs. Normally, you can get out of the wind and into the woods, but that didn't seem possible. So, we bought a tree.

Yes, we paid for a tree then came home and drank hot cocoa while we decorated it. It was still a lovely day (and this is by far the most impressive tree we've ever had) but H and I did miss our tradition.

The tree

For December 2, we brought up the winter books. Each year, the boys are delighted to see their old friends. They love seeing the baby books as well as the books for more "mature" readers. We spent the morning reading and looking at pictures.

Winter books

For December 3, I let the boys watch The Polar Express. We've loved the book and the movie for years. And for the past three years, we've hopped the train from Lewistown to the North Pole, so the Polar Express has a special place in our hearts.

Tomorrow the boys will wake to find another Advent Activity. This one will say that they should look under the tree. There they'll find these nature journals. I put these gorgeous letters on the front. We'll take them into the forest, along a creek. We'll take in the sounds, sights, smells, and maybe tastes, of nature. Then, we'll record it in the journals.

Log books

And, as a little bonus for today's post, I give you a video of Anders and Finn at their ukelele gig this weekend.

[video:youtube:uOUHDh9lhSw]

Happy Winter!