I just went back to work a few days ago and man, I need a break after the holiday break! It was pretty much non-stop and it was fantastic. Here are some of the day by day highlights.
Technically break hadn't started yet, but we kicked things off from a ‘fun' standpoint. My wife and I both love the movie ‘It's A Wonderful Life' and got tickets to go on the giant movie screen. We took the kids and made a whole night of it, going to dinner beforehand. It was a great start.
December 23rd: The Official Start of Holiday Break
I had to work but there weren't a whole lot of people here, and everybody started drifting out en masse around noon. I stuck it out until just around 2pm. We didn't do a whole lot of fun stuff this day, mainly finishing up wrapping and getting things ready for Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve has always been one of our favorite times. Growing up, it was always at my Grandma & Grandpa's house. Even after my Grandpa passed and my Grandma moved to an apartment, we still got together. After she passed, we took on the torch, and we now meet family at Church and then come back to our house for dinner. It's still one of my favorite days, even though I'm long grown up. I hope it makes great memories for my children.
Christmas morning is always great and I try to see it through the eyes of my kids. We opened up presents and got ready. The afternoon was spent at my cousin's, and we made our way over to my in-laws for the celebration for that side of the family. Christmas is a great day but it's non-stop.
Having spent the night at my in-laws, we had breakfast and then opened gifts together. The kids love having back to back Christmas celebrations! This was official day where you have to put some serious effort into figuring out what day of the week it is.
We finally got a break from Christmas celebrations (but more to come), and instead started on some fun activities for the kids to keep them busy. The library has a big Lego building event where kids get to spend an hour rummaging through bin upon bin, creating something that they then get to put out in the kids area for all to see. They offer this program about once every six weeks, and it was fun for me to take them.
We also did an impromptu dinner out with my in-laws. My father in-law has a car that he drives only during the summer months, and wanted to free up some space in his garage, and asked if he could park it in our extra space. Since they were over anyway, we decided to go out for some great pizza!
The fun continued as we spent a few hours at the Henry Ford, which is a local museum with lots of history. They have lots of cars, old airplanes, steam engines, locomotives, and other stuff. They even have the actual bus, which has been fully restored, in which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. It's informative and fun at the same time.
My son loves building Lego and has a whole table (a converted train table) in his room to do so. It's gotten a bit out of hand, so we spent a few hours cleaning up sets and re-organizing his collection. It was, of course, all done in preparation for building new Lego sets that he got for Christmas! While he and I did that, my daughter and wife had a field trip at a local chocolate factory!
After all this, we did the third and final Christmas gift celebration, as we got together with my parents for dinner and a gift exchange.
We had another really fun day. My wife took my daughter to get together with some ‘old' pre-school friends. They had fun catching up. Once they got back, we went to a nearby trampoline place where they converted a few storefronts into a giant trampoline where people come to….well, bounce! We had scored tickets on Groupon a few weeks back with the sole intent of coming this week, and it was a blast. Afterward, my wife surprised the kids (me, too) by stopping for frozen yogurt. Yum!
After the kids went to bed, my wife and I rooted for our favorite college football team, the Michigan Wolverines. Unfortunately, despite a furious comeback, they came up a point short this year. Maybe next year!
New Year's Eve! For us, 2016 was a pretty good year and we went out in style. Where we've often gotten together with my sister-in-law, this year that didn't work out, so we kept the kids and had some old fashioned family fun.
During the day, we went out bowling, which was great, and then went to see Moano, the new Disney movie. Everybody enjoyed that. We went to dinner at a new (to us) restaurant, where we had good food and excellent service.
At home we did a family game night, including Pie Face, which involved canned whipped cream. I made a fantastic chocolate chip cookie cake, and the kids stayed up until midnight to ring in 2017!
We had tired kids but they held up remarkably well. My dad's Birthday is on New Year's, so we went out to brunch and then came back to our house for cake. Later, the four of us went for a walk as it was a sunny day, which is rare during the Michigan winter. We had a fun dinner with dips, pigs in a blanket, shrimp and some other goodies.
After the kids went to bed, my wife and I again rooted for our favorite football team, this time the Detroit Lions, but were disappointed once again as they fell to the Packers. They still ended up making the playoffs, but it would have been nice to have seen them win their first division title in nearly 25 years. Here's hoping for a miracle in the playoffs!
It was a cold day but was, again, relatively sunny, so we decided to go to the zoo. It was surprisingly busy and the kids made it about 2.5 hours, which I thought was great. I had estimated two hours as their maximum tolerance, so they came out ahead!
On January 3rd, I sadly returned to work, signifying the official end to our holiday break. The kids had two more days off, not returning to school until the 5th, but the family fun had by the four of us was officially over.
You know it's been a great break when you wish you had a couple more days!
Readers, how was your holiday break? Any big happenings? Let me know in the comments below.