Friday, December 5, 2014

The Arrival of Boone

We were a little afraid Boone wouldn't find us at Grandma and Papa's this year, but he found us alright and surprised Cruz with a warm hot cocoa party especially for him!  He arrived on Sunday afternoon, set up all the fixings while Cruz was napping, and we celebrated the start of one of our favorite months with red mugs of cocoa and candy canes for stirring.

Cruz's love for "warm hot cocoa" began last year after his fingers and toes got a little too cold at our town's Holiday Hoopla festival.  I didn't think he would be too keen on the temperature of it, but much to my surprise, he sucked every last drop up and requested more nearly every night from then on.  After instructing him to not sip it until it was warm instead of hot, he has affectionately referred to it as warm hot cocoa ever since.  Warm hot cocoa nights became our thing last winter and I always found the little ritual rather sweet.  Cruz is my free spirit, who doesn't get too excited or too worked up about much, but I could tell these little warm hot cocoa nights were special to him, so we went through a lot of hot chocolate that winter and got a lot of use out of his blue little snowman mug.  

Does anyone else find the Target dollar bin area a huge point of inspiration?  For three years now, I have dreamed up our December 1st North Pole party with supplies purchased in this aisle.  The last two years, Boone has thrown Cruz a North Pole breakfast, but this year he was in the mood for something different.  And with Target's festive and delicious hot cocoa toppings and accessories, it seemed the perfect way to celebrate Cruz with one of his favorite winter staples. 

We had red mugs filled with a packet of cocoa mix, a candy cane, and a chocolate dipped stir stick too pretty to eat.  I found some brightly striped wrapping paper and cut a piece as a table runner, then added to the bright colors by filling some jars with wooden blocks and vintage colored pencils, also from the Target dollar bin.  I wanted Boone to bring back a glimpse of Santa's workshop for Cruz to get him excited about it all.  I used a small tabletop Christmas tree as an added centerpiece, and adorned it with these little Elf on a Shelf chocolates I also found at Target.  I taped baker's twine to each little elf and hung them on the tree for Cruz to eat one a day until Christmas. 

The rest of the table was filled with jars of all sizes and every hot cocoa topping imaginable.  We had candy-cane striped marshmallows (Target again), chocolate chips, peppermint shavings and sprinkles, chocolate hazelnut cookie sticks, red hot cinnamon candies.  We drank milk out of glass bottles with red and blue striped straws, and passed around plates of gingerbread cookies, Cruz's favorite banana bread, and a strawberry/banana candy cane.

Boone presented Cruz with a letter, as well as his usual gift of an ornament for the tree and a Christmas movie to watch on TV.  This year, Cruz received an Olaf ornament and The Polar Express, and Mila received a special "Baby's First Christmas" ornament and Frosty the Snowman.  Then we warmed up our hot cocoa, topped our mugs with lots of whipped cream and sprinkles, and toasted to December, to Christmas, and to the return of our good friend, Boone.

For more ideas and Elf on the Shelf inspiration, check out last year's North Pole Party, or our very first year with Boone.    

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