A Visit with Santa

There needs to be a holiday name for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s one of our favorite days of the year and includes a number of family traditions that are important to us. Tradition number one: Be at home and eat leftovers, glorious leftovers. Tradition number two: Go cut a Christmas tree. This year, we added a third tradition: Take the Bug to see Santa!

Last year, we got Paige over to see Santa at the mall. It worked out to do it when Grandpa and Grandma Ravellette could come, too, and it was fun! Paige even got to wear the new red velvet Christmas dress that her Grandma made her. However, when Santa visits the downtown shops instead of the mall, he brings his awesome wife, Mrs. Claus, which makes for an even cooler experience.

So, this year on Family Saturday (Does that work as a holiday name, or does it just sound like we never spend any other Saturdays together? I’ll keep working on it.) we headed up to Cassen’s tree farm in West Lafayette to pick out the perfect tree. My mom was in town, so she came with us, which turned out to be a great thing not just because we love having family visiting us, but also because no-nap Paige finally succumbed to a nap on the drive out to the farm, so Grandma Rose stayed in the car with her while Jeffrey and I picked out a tree. So we didn’t get any pictures at the tree farm, but we also didn’t have a 1-year-old to keep track of while we were felling a tree, so there’s that.

IMG_6605The tree we found was great. Perfect for our spot at home. But here’s what I’ll say about cutting down a Christmas tree: it never looks that tall in the field. Jeffrey had to get out the extension ladder to put the star on top and get the lights all the way up the tree. The star kinda scraped the ceiling. Oops.

Anyway, after we finished at the tree farm, we drove downtown for our visit with Santa. I changed Paige into her Christmas dress. (Which, by the way, was a 6 month dress from last winter that still fits her… sweet tiny baby. The dress I got her for this year might fit her when she’s six.) I imagined this beautiful photoshoot. The shop we were going to (which is owned by a lady from our church) has tons of indirect natural light and is just beautiful. Paige in her dress with her bow and red sweater. Santa. Mrs. Claus. Big smiles. Classic.

You may think that I’m insane to think that my toddler would do well and smile when she visits Santa, but I was not wholly basing my expectations on fantasy. Last year, Paige was an absolute pro with Santa. PicMonkey Collage
So, yeah. I was expecting to add some more natural light, Mrs. Claus, a cute little shop. Boom, baby. Christmas photo magic.

But Paige is older and wiser now, and apparently that means that she is no longer trusting of strangers with long white beards.

PicMonkey Collage

PicMonkey Collage Recovering from the Santa trauma of ’13 with Daddy snuggles and a candy cane… still in the wrapper.

PicMonkey CollageThen, Paige’s good friend, Joel, came to the shop with his family. We thought that maybe if the two kiddos got to see Santa together, they’d like it better.

It didn’t really work. Paige was a bit more curious about Santa, but they both affirmed the other one’s trepidation about Mr. Kringle.

In the end, Joel’s mommy, Katy, had to sit on Santa’s lap and Joel sat on her lap.  Santa and Mrs. Claus were very patient with our family when the Travises were done and let us take the same approach to trying to get a good photo of Paige with Santa. Here’s the best we got:

IMG_6600It wasn’t the perfectly perfect photo with Santa, but we had a great time with this new Saturday-After-Thanksgiving tradition. Maybe next year Paige will be old enough to understand bribery and we can bribe her with the candy cane to sit and smile with the Clauses.