Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa Photos & Decorating the Christmas Tree!

My Granddad's sister passed away last night. She was the last survivor of their immediate family. I saw her last at my Granddad's funeral in 2009. Her stories of growing up with her brothers were interesting, to say the least. Those stories gave us new perspective into Granddad's past, specifically his childhood.. I think because she spoke about him from a sister's point of view. She was always such a talker. I remember sitting with her in my Granddad's hospital room many years ago. She interrupted a moment of stillness to tell me that she talked a lot because the quiet made her nervous, haha.  See my dad's blog for more stories on Betty. She was a very sweet lady.

She passed away in December, as did Granddad's wife, as did Granddad.. and I wonder who else? Granddad passed on Christmas day. Betty died 3 days prior to Christmas day.

Today was Santa pictures!! We got the kids very dressed up. Sebastian wore a red sweater & corduroys. Judah wore a forest green sweater & corduroys. Willow was adorable in a shimmery, velvety red dress with white fur around the arm cuffs & trim of the dress. Her matching velvety red muffin hat, also trimmed in white fur, made her look like a gorgeous, albeit tiny, Mrs. Claus.

We arrived at the carousel to find no line of children to see Santa! Typically we go to the mall to visit him, and we pay way too much money for a picture and a CD with one photo on it. You can't just get the CD, you have to buy an expensive photo too. There is no getting out of this experience without spending a completely unreasonable amount of money. But you'll do it, and you'll pay whatever they ask, because it's Santa pictures. This year I looked online for other Santa's in town & found the one at the carousel, that we had actually been to before. Why were we still going to the mall?? The carousel Santa is much cooler- he's in his sled!! And there are real elves! And the price? 10 bucks total. This will get you a 5x7 and the freedom to take photos with your own camera (unheard of these days). Much, much more reasonable.

Two out of three tolerated sitting with Santa. One out of those two looked at the camera. Judah had his arm covering his face during much of the sitting. The photographer spent more time with us than she typically would for Santa photos. She was just trying to get a decent photo. Willow immediately screamed bloody murder when she realized Daddy was getting ready to place her in the lap of Santa. I tried as well, putting her in Sebastian's lap instead. There was no way she was having any of this. I tried to get carousel photos of her. She had no interest in smiling the entire time we were there. However, the minute we were home & out of the car she was smiling & dancing for pictures, begging to see them on the camera! I wonder if Santa makes house calls (other than the usual I mean). ;)

Sebastian was so pleased to get extra time with Santa. When we walked away he kept looking back at him, as if he were wishing that moment would never end. We rode the carousel and his eyes lit up when he spotted Santa, "Santa's waving!! Look!!" This year, at the age of 6, he has truly started to believe and is fully experiencing the excitement of Christmas. If only he had parents that started the holiday festivities at the beginning of December! I feel horrible about that. Tonight I decorated the tree with the kids. This was the first year that I really just let them have at it. This was the first year that they could ALL put ornaments on. They did nearly all of the work, Sebastian especially. I came to find out later that he was running off periodically during the decorating to furnish his room in Christmas adornment. I found this out because he walked me back to show me how he had brought Christmas to his room.

Scott & Bash did grocery shopping for the Christmas food ingredients.

12/22/2013 Carousel Santa (Willow was terrified to be near Santa, but she was there.)


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