"First we'll make snow angels for two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can, and then we'll snuggle."
-Buddy the Elf
I am on a mission to soak up as much of this Christmas season as we can. Whether it be reading our Christmas bedtime stories under the lights of the Christmas tree every single night, singing 'Silent Night' in bed with the boys at their request, enjoying the buy one - get one free hot chocolate packages at HyVee, or listening to nothing but my Pandora Christmas station for the entire month of December, I am determined to live this season out to its fullest - through quiet nights at home with my Peppermint Mocha candle... and through the smallest of events made big through the eyes of my children.
Tonight we returned to our downtown for a little more 'hoopla.' We weren't sure exactly how the night was going to go. It was a last minute decision on a somewhat 'warm' November night, and we had plans to just walk the pretty decorated street - while it was still comfortable enough to walk outside. We knew Santa would be there. We knew animals would be around. We knew there would be a Christmas trolly driven by horses. But we never know how our kids are going to respond to these things. If they will be patient enough to wait in lines. If they will be brave enough to try a new unknown. So we parked the car a block away from Santa's Workshop with no intentions other than to walk by it. And maybe head to Scratch Cupcake. :) But the light show synchronized to music grabbed the boys' attention immediately, and before I knew it we had subconsciously made the decision to join the end of the line with the hopes of seeing the jolly guy himself. (And Jaden wanted to earn a candycane that he saw the other littles holding.)
I was really surprised at how patiently the kids waited. It helped to have music and flashing lights and the Grinch walking around... even though neither Jaden or Brandon were brave enough to get their picture taken with him. ;) Brandon was in such awe of everything that he would cozy up to another daddy's legs standing in the line next to us before looking up and realizing the legs didn't belong to his own Daddy. He was kind of in a Christmas fog, and his reactions were priceless every time he realized he was cuddling up to the wrong guy.
Finally at the threshold...
While waiting in line, Cody explained to Brandon what he was supposed to be doing once we got inside. He told him he could ask Santa for what he wanted for Christmas, and Brandon even practiced what he was going to tell him. "Toys, Lego's and Lincoln Logs." But once we got inside, he quickly shied away while Jaden approached him with caution. He gave Santa a high-five, told him he wanted a drum for Christmas, and happily took a candycane as his reward. ;)
I don't know... do you think Jaden's impressed here? ;)
Eventually Brandon was brave enough to get close enough for a candycane, but that's as far as he took it - not even quite daring enough to follow Jaden down the tube slide that was created to usher kids out of the workshop.
From there, we walked a few blocks to get to the live nativity. At this point, Jaden just wanted to go eat something (what's new?), but as soon as the lights of the nativity were close enough to distinguish, both kids ran ahead excitedly.
I'm not sure what they think it is we were looking at. We tried explaining that this was a remake of what baby Jesus was born into. We described to them that this was what it was like on the night when baby Jesus was born, but they were more concerned with the live animals they got to feed hay and grass to!
After looking at one of the baby animals, Brandon looked up at my dad and very sweetly said, "I don't think he wants to be in there." He has such a soft spot in his heart for animals!
It was a fun night, and we might even return next week for the trolly ride! ;)