Tonight we loaded up the kids in their jammies in the car (with new fleece snowflake blankets toasty warm from the dryer), picked up some hot chocolate from Starbucks, and drove around looking at Christmas lights. Joel was highly impressed - he "ohhhhhhhhh"ed all around town. Alyssa had fun, too. She loved pointing out the different Santas; we'll see how she feels about the "real deal" next week at the mall. I had a great time, too - my tummy is warm from peppermint hot chocolate and my heart is warm from creating a special memory with the people I love most in the world. My hope is that it will become a yearly tradition.
PS ~ Dee, you GOTTA take your kids to see the house in the picture ... they have every Christmas character you could imagine, plus several non-Christmas ones like all the Sesame Street gang (aka big yellow duck or whatever it was - ha!), every inflatable you could think of, and lights that are coordinated to Christmas music on a radio station. Its awesome!