After a short delay (since I like putting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving), the kids and I installed and decorated the tree. In fact, they did all the decorating! It's a little lopsided, but I love how excited they were.
The kids had fun emptying the stockings. St. Nicholas brought dollar coins (six for First Son, three for First Daughter and one for Second Daughter), some candy and snack treats we never buy ourselves, and measuring tapes for the older two, crayons for the littlest one.
A few days ago we made some Christmas cookies. I have a special love of sugar cookies, really for the cookie cutters. I had some new ones this year: a star and a snowflake. The kids picked what they wanted and I made a lot of snowflakes when they got tired. Decorating, of course, is the best part. First Son did all the work himself on his - putting on the icing and the sprinkles. First Daughter decorated one and started eating it right away! We had to explain she needed to decorate all of them and could eat one after dinner (well, finish the one she started). I had to watch her very closely and pretty much clean her hands after every cookie because she kept tasting the icing. I can't believe I forgot to get a picture of all the cookies when we were done. I have to remember to double the recipe next time.
For those that are wondering, the basic sugar cookie recipe in The All-American Cookie Book is by far the best I've used. I improve the recipe only slightly by using peppermint extract instead of the almond or vanilla. I love the subtle minty taste. I used the icing recipe in the book for the first time and liked it.