It's the most wonderful time of the year
It's the hap-happiest season of all...
...And tales of the glories of
Christmases long, long ago
Oh yes, Miss Clara, we will always remember the Christmas when you were 2 years old, waiting in a 2 hour line outside, while it was 27 degrees, so you could see "Ho, Ho, Ho."
And much to Santa's surprise not only at your hysteria, but when we all busted up laughing, because we're no longer shocked by your outpouring of letting everyone know when things aren't going your way.
I've loved to highlight your crying fits and outbursts since birth, but as much fierceness and wildness that you have inside of you, there is as much, if not more, an abundance of love and sweetness. We all have our moments, and dear Clara, you have no reservations about speaking your mind. I hope this becomes an awesome super power in your life, to be a strong, independent woman, but for now at 2 years old, it's quite exhausting, and at times pretty hilarious, too.
This photo ( below) with her head down screaming and crying, I would've bought a different image that highlighted her fit quite wonderfully, but the photographer gave us a minute to decide and then deleted the other 3 shots, and I didn't think we'd get a second chance at another sit down with Santa. But then, Santa gave Clara a candy cane, and she decided to sit next to him, still not certain about the situation, but the candy cane was enough to win her over a little, so the photographer gave us one more attempt at a photo with Santa. We ended up paying for both pictures to remember this joyous occasion.
It really wasn't terrible standing in line for 2 hours to see the jolly old man. We went to The Village. I stood in line for the first hour alone, because Jack was not thrilled with standing there and having Clara in the cold. Even though plenty of other littles and parents were there waiting. He went inside one of the buildings to keep Clara warm, and in all fairness, she seemed to be coming down with a cold, so he wanted to keep her warm. William went off to get hot chocolate. I stood there in line, watching the water light show and ice skaters, while listening to all the happy Christmas music playing. Finally, when I got near a heater, Jack, William, and Clara came over to stand in line with me for the second hour.
It wasn't our planned shot with Santa either. The last few years we've attended the Christmas show at the fairgrounds, and the kids get to sit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, but I messed up the dates this year, and the show was actually the previous weekend. So after fighting the crowds at the mall earlier in the day to get Clara a dress, and William a shirt for their photos, then driving down to the fairgrounds only to find out there was some children's wrestling match going on, we decided to try out The Village.
I adore the setting of The Village. A huge beautiful tree, dancing water set to Christmas music, ice skaters, and a whimsical house built by Disney for the kids to go into to sit with Santa. Although the kids get a lot more time to visit with Santa at the Christmas Show, The Village definitely has the right vibe that makes for some fun memories, too. This might become our new tradition for photos with Santa, if I can sweet talk Jack into the idea and get him on board to stand outside again next year... if, hahaha, of course it's what we'll do. He vowed to never do this again, but you know, I'm mom, and it's Santa, and it's a childhood staple to get the shot. 27 degrees outside, 2 hour wait, snotty nosed kids, my calf muscles cramping up, telling my begrudging teen that he has to come along because it's family time, and 1 second to snap a pic of my toddler crying on Santa's lap for $40. Worth it every year! In the name of tradition, creating memories, and character.
Next year I'll plan on going in the afternoon though, so I can get some better lit shots, and William can have some time to go ice skating. I'll probably bring some Christmas cookies along and a thermos with homemade hot chocolate.
He's begging me to go back over winter break, so he can try ice skating out. He hopefully exclaimed, while waiting in line, that ice skating didn't look hard. This coming from my totally chill, video gaming nerd child, that has always been clumsy and accident prone. All I could do was chuckle, and agree to coming back.