Christmas Chaos - Christmas Eve Eve

Twas the Night Before the Night Before Christmas and all through our house, 
Chaos was reigning
& all was just as it should be...

R & Will lit our outdoor firepit
(Complete with FREE!! seating - tree trunks I found at the Christmas Tree farm that they let me have!)

We set up a s'mores table with a 5 POUND Hershey's bar that our local grocery store gave me for FREE for the party! :)

 I took lots of fuzzy pictures & dressed the kids in short sleeves because it was a warm day for a fire.

And then some friends showed up!
We threw a very last minute, impromptu Christmas Eve Eve party with some good friends and it was perfect!
We made reindeer food.  I had seen this idea for a reindeer food bar on Kelle Hampton's blog.  
On her blog, it looks perfect and fun...
on mine - it was chaos & a mess.
I think the kids had fun but, to be completely honest, by Christmas Eve, my two kids completely forgot about their reindeer food concoctions so we just purposely "forgot" to put it outside.
It was kind of sort of fun...
but mostly a major mess and I think the kids would have had just as much fun running outside (which they did immediately after.)

The reindeer bar consisted of oats, carrots, glitter, confetti, snowballs (cotton balls), snowflakes (sugar), magic flying powder (flour), peppermint pieces, etc.

Then, much to our surprise, Santa made a quick visit!
The kids' faces were priceless!
R & I kept it a secret so it was fun to surprise everyone.
(Except for sweet Ellie - who was terrified.)

 We moved inside and Santa read "Twas the Night Before Christmas"

 and each little kid hopped in his lap and shared their list (while parents closely listened in because this was 48 hours away from the big day and hopefully no one was changing their list.)

Hutch cracked me up- he was not getting any closer to Santa than this.

 Ellie - not a fan.
I made a huge pot (or 2) of chili and ordered some nuggets from Chick Fil A and called dinner done.
It was warm so we ate outside

& then headed to the fire pit in our "woods" to roast s'mores!

Several friends stayed late & Ellie showed off her walking skills.  Hutch & Sophie noticed that everytime Ellie rounded the corner, she got cheers... so they hopped in the parade too!
(This was so good for my heart - for the last 18 months, I've struggled at parties or with friends because Ellie often gets left out/left behind - simply because she wasn't able to keep up or kids were on the move all the time or I had to carry her.  But now?  She is able to walk!!!  She's upright like her peers and it's amazing!

We hung out by the fire for awhile with really good friends -laughing and planning camping trips and it was the perfect way to spend Christmas Eve Eve.   

Reading Christmas stories - one of my favorite things to do this season.

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