Christmas Recap {Part 1}

19 Jan

This was the first year that Christmas was marked by a trip to sit on Santa’s lap (several trips, in fact).  

Now, despite the fact that the above photo is completely ridiculous (but no less a true–and frankly, hilarious picture of this particular moment, I mean, look at each person!  Cracks me up!), I have to tell you it doesn’t really do our experience of meeting Santa justice.  This was actually our second visit to see him, and clearly Miss Thang was not too keen on the large man in the red suit.  However, a few days prior we had an impromptu visit with Mr. Claus at Tyson’s Corner mall the evening before Thanksgiving.  Why am I sharing all these details?  Only because I will remember it as one of the most memorable and treasured experiences I have had as a mother.

Let me explain.

We stopped in to the mall to do a return en route to visit Philip’s family for Thanksgiving.  We hadn’t thought about the possibility of Santa being there and Wade had never “met” him before, but we had begun to talk about Santa in preparation for the Christmas holiday (this was of course after much thought about whether or not our family would “do Santa,” which is perhaps another post in and of itself…we don’t over-think things at all around here 😉  Anyway, the mall was uncharacteristically calm and relatively empty, and despite the fact that it was getting on to dinner and bed time, our kids were doing well and we were all having a rather nice time together (something I do not take for granted in the slightest!  I am telling you, successful trips out into public are no small thing.)  We spotted Santa and noticed there was no line at all to see him, so we casually asked Wade if he’d like to go and sit on his lap.  He said that he did, and what followed was the. sweetest. thing. ever.

In his own little shy way, Wade sat on Santa’s lap, only making eye contact every couple of moments, but clearly in awe.  When asked what he wanted for Christmas, he sweetly answered, “stickers”.  melt. my. heart.  When pressed for what else he wanted, he said “Mater.”  It was just so dear.  I didn’t have my camera (and the mall didn’t allow you to take pictures), and I have to say, I think that was just what I needed.  I was able to be in the moment and enjoy it.  I am so thankful for the times like this, however small, that refresh me and remind me of the joy my vocation as a mother can bring.

{This picture was taken on a different occasion too, but it does capture the essence of my boy and his sweet demeanor with Santa.}

On a particularly warm day in December, we donned some cute Christmas clothes and headed to to the park.

I adore that picture of Wade 🙂  I must tell you though, that I clearly recall a rather ugly temper-tantrum preceding this very cute moment (one of his precious collected sticks was lost when it fell out of his grasp while crossing the street, horror of all horrors!)

This is how Holland prefers to go down the slide:

Yes, head first.  I love the look of pure joy on her face.  It fascinates me that she wants to throw herself down the slide, whereas it was only relatively recently that Wade became comfortable going down the slide sitting up!

He has no fear now though and loves the tall, “twisty” slides.

Bloomer alert!

It was fun to decorate the tree as a family this year, as this was the first year Wade really got into it.

 Checking out a digger ornament from last year…

It really warmed my heart to find Wade studying a needlepoint ornament my mom made for me the year I turned one.

Two treasured ornaments to commemorate each of my babies’ births.

One weekend we made a trip back to Busch Gardens to experience ‘Christmastown.’  It was cold and there weren’t quite as many things to do to entertain our kids as we found at Halloween, but we still had a good time.
Of course we had to revisit our favorite–the bumper cars!
And while I have no pictures of it, Wade very much enjoyed a performance by the Sesame Street cast.
Another fun memory from Christmas was Wade’s class party at preschool.
His teacher did such a great job of incorporating thoughtful activities into the celebration that taught the children about Jesus’
Of course Miss Holland had to get in on the fun too!
Philip initiated a rendition of Ring-Around-the-Rosy, which is what got the children into the idea of running in circles 🙂
My favorite part was watching them enjoy each other.

One Response to “Christmas Recap {Part 1}”

  1. Caroline Malatesta January 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    What a wonderful post. That story about Wade and Santa was so sweet. And that his big request was simply a pack of stickers…even sweeter:)

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