Not Olivia!!! I am proud to say that we had a successful trip to see Santa this year! It was such fun. Each year we take her to see the Santa out at Jefferson Pointe (an outdoor mall in our area). We like visiting this Santa for many reasons. First, Santa is located in a darling little cottage in the middle of the mall. It is quaint and very personal, not like the craziness at our main mall. We have a strategy too. We always go on a weekday night when no one else is there. That way we can take our time and not feel like we are being rushed by all of the other crazed parents out there. Our first visit to see Santa, a few years ago was a breeze. Olivia was just over one month old and she slept on Santa's lap during the picture. Last year was a different story. We were the parents that traumatized their child by making her sit on Santa's lap even though she was scared to death...cruel, huh? Needless to say we were unsure how this year would unfold. So we got Olivia all dressed up in one of her adorable Christmas dresses and headed out to see the jolly guy.
We had talked about Santa for quite awhile prior to our visit. We talked about how Olivia was going to sit on his lap and tell him what she wanted for Christmas. And when we asked her what Santa was going to say to her she always replied, "Ho, Ho, Ho!" She was excited about the idea of Santa but we weren't sure how she would feel once we were in front of him. When we arrived there was one child in front of us. She was younger than Olivia and was not at all interested in Santa. Their attempt failed and they have to leave without a picture...bummer. Once Olivia saw Santa she grabbed onto Todd's coat with a death grip. She would not let go and she did not want to be anywhere near him. I thought for sure that our attempt would fail as well. Luckily there was no one behind us so we took off our coats and got comfy in Santa's cottage. Santa was SO friendly to Olivia and within a few minutes I noticed her starting to warm up to him. We took a family picture with Santa to show her that there was nothing to be scared of. With that out of the way it was time for Olivia to sit on Santa's lap all by herself. She was a little unsure of the idea and wasn't interested in smiling. Just then the photographer had the great idea of knocking Mommy and Daddy on the head with a silly toy with the hope of getting a smile. What a genius idea! By then Olivia was cracking up and willing to give up tons of smiles. Here is the result (sorry about the quality of the picture)...
By the time we were done hanging out with Santa Olivia was hugging him and they were counting in Spanish together. It does not take long for Olivia to warm up to people when you give her a chance, even when those people are big, jolly men in red and white suits. I was so impressed with Santa. He was so patient and willing to do anything it took to make Olivia comfortable with him. He told her how he knew her Mommy and Daddy when they were little and how he remembered her from last year too. (A good Santa knows just what to say!). Plus, he gave her a lolly pop for being so brave which got Santa some points too! It was a really fun experience and Olivia has been talking about it ever since. She switches between talking about Santa and the Elmo show (still). After we were done we walked around the mall looking at all of the pretty lights. Jefferson Pointe has an amazingly tall Christmas tree that fascinated Olivia. It was a really fun night!
We are trying to squeeze in as many Christmas activities as possible before the holiday. Over the weekend we took Olivia to our botanical conservatory to see the live reindeer. The conservatory is always decorated so beautifully this time of year and there are some activities for kids throughout. We were pushing nap time so Olivia did not want to cooperate when it came to picture taking but I did manage to snap a few.
We cannot believe that Christmas is just over a week away. I think I am about done with my shopping. Now my favorite part starts...all of the gift giving! I hope that everyone is enjoying the holiday season as much as we are. In case I do not post again before Christmas...Todd, Olivia and I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season!