Holiday Highlights

Our newest Christmas tradition is the "Elf on the Shelf." Have you heard of the Elf? The elf -- ours is named George -- is Santa's scout. Each day he perches somewhere and keeps an eye on the children; each night he flies to the North Pole to report to the Big Boss; each morning he's in a new spot in the house, and the kids have to search all over to find him. For a solid month, Mallory's first words upon awakening have been, "Phoebe, let's go find George!" Then she'd instruct me to say "Elf Alert!" if I spotted him first (which, incidentally, I always did). For her part, Phoebe always said, upon finally tracking George down, "Geo-orge, how did you get there?" Chris and I George only forgot to hide one time during Advent. Go George! Now he's in the attic at the North Pole, waiting for next year.

This picture was taken on Christmas Eve morning. Wee little George is in the fireplace, waiting to give his final report to Santa.

Phoebe's contribution to the holiday baking:

Gifts in reusable cloth bags:

Christmas girls on Christmas Eve. They actually both wore these dresses to bed and the next day too. Considering that I found them on sale for $9 each, I think I got my money's worth!

Mallory actually screamed with joy when she opened this Build-a-Bear from Auntie Mimi:

But she has claimed that this -- a bell from Santa's sleigh -- is her very favorite present. When asked why, she said, "Because I'm the only kid in the world who has one." (Notwithstanding that her sister also got one.)

Roller skates!

One of my gifts from Chris. Isn't it adorable?

My favorite gift from Chris, incidentally, was a comic strip he drew of the girls, but I can't get a good picture of it. Trust me, it's priceless.

The girls are shouting "No!" after I asked them if they had enough presents:

So that was Christmas. It was a good one. Tomorrow we're off to Texas, hooray!