(Bonus picture, because I thought it was hilarious how gangster they looked carving turkey. This is my brother-in-law Abel and the hubby)
When we finished feasting, we got the kids home and in their beds. A perk to living at home with my mom? We were able to go out shopping at midnight! We made a midnight run to Disney Store to take advantage of the savings. Luckily, most of what the kids wanted was from their anyways. (go figure.... Disney freaks) We decided when pulling away from there at nearly 2am that we weren't tried (tryptophan- fail), and decided to go by and see if we could check out Old Navy's 3am opening! The line was insanely long, so we came home and shopped OldNavy online instead. We were able to finally get the kids winter coats for CHEAP, which is what we set out for. We decided to go back out at 330am, grab some coffee and brave the WalMart scene. I always say- you have not survived a true Black Friday unless you fight the 5am crowd at Walmart. And despite the fact we had hardly anything to get there, we went for the sake of going! We rolled into the driveway and crashed into the bed at about 630am, but with a feeling of severe satisfaction as 90% of our Christmas shopping was done and done cheap! It helped I have been shopping for months online grabbing super cheap deals as they came by watching a few of my favorite savings sites (DealFindingChik and CouponingToDisney to name 2). Are you done shopping yet??
That Friday, after sleeping a few hours in the morning, we went back out for some fun with the kids that evening. We walked around San Tan Mall and listened to carolers, drank hot chocolate and enjoyed the lights and sounds. We discovered they had a stage and SNOW in the evenings so we planned to go back for it! A month or more ago, I was pondering how to have Gabriella tell us and Santa what she wants for Christmas. I immediately though of a picture book. The kids took pictures of what they wanted from a few stores, just to give us an idea, and we put them in albums. So Saturday, we went back to the mall, books in hand, to see Santa.
Santa's elf was very friendly and asked the kids about their books. I don't jump to explain to people what happened to Gabriella and that she can't talk because it leads into heart talk and questions and me loosing 50% emotional energy, but I told her because she asked about the books. She went up and told Santa about Gabriella briefly so he was prepared (which I had planned on doing anyways). Santa was AMAZING! He spent SO much time with my kiddos! Gabriella slowly turned every page, pointed at every picture, and made sure the big bearded guy knew EXACTLY what she wanted. Her face was so serious and calm, almost businesslike! PJ excitedly did the same, and Santa got whiplash looking back and forth at all the requests. It was a great experience for the kids, despite my fear of the germs on Santa.... lol.
After Santa, we played in the fake snow! PJ was hesitant but Gabriella has a BLAST!
We ended up eating a quick dinner while listening to the outdoor band play Christmas music. It was an exhausting couple days, but well worth it to spend such great time together!