Now that December is half over I'm pleased to say that our shopping is done, we've made good progress on our Christmas card list, and our Christmas decorations are up. Although our Christmas tree does leave much to be desired. We left the glass ornaments off due to the curious hands of our very mobile 1 year old, and we still have yet to purchase a nice star for the top of the tree. So! Our tree is simply adorned with a Santa hat on top, is strung with some white lights, and draped with silver beads (which actually look quite pretty when the lights are on...except that all the beads have been pulled into a heap at the bottom of the tree again)! We have also attended a few Christmas events (which is good since Christmas is officially next week already). So! Add to that the several inches of snow we were blanketed with this weekend and it IS beginning to feel a lot like Christmas around here!
Every year while I was growing up, I remember my mom volunteering for the Festival of Trees. It is a great event where 100% of the proceeds go to help children in need at Primary Children's Medical Center. Other than "Pennies by the Inch" (which I was our neighborhood coordinator for this year) I think this is the only fundraiser they do.
Anyhow, I don't really know everything that my mom did, but I mostly remember her making suckers and butter-mints to donate, and I remember visiting "Festival" and seeing her working the sweets counter. I also remember her delivering trees after the event was over. Many items, such as trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, etc. are on display. They go to the highest bidder & are delivered once the festival is over. The most memorable tree for me over the years was one that was done during my senior year of high school in memory of my soccer teammate who was tragically killed in a car accident. Many of the trees there are beautiful tributes to people's loved ones. So! Attending the Festival of Trees is not only something that is a great event to support, but has always been a tradition for our family and has lots of sentimental feelings for me. So, I was excited to attend this year with my mom, Noah & Lincoln. The first thing we did when we got there was look at the gingerbread houses & then head straight over to the scones & cinnamon rolls! I don't think Noah had ever had a cinnamon roll before, but it didn't take him long to decide that they were a good idea!
Lincoln was a pretty happy camper hanging out in the stroller, it would've been pretty rough to have kept tabs on him if we let him out. Next year, buddy...
I wish that I could've gotten a picture of Noah that showed how big his eyes were here! He saw this Disney tree that had all sorts of Disney movies, toys, books, etc. under the tree & he was smitten! I think he would've sat there all night if we had let him. The line of people walking through to look at the trees just went around him as he sat and stared. He'd periodically reach out wanting to touch something, but I was actually amazed how well he did restraining himself as we'd remind him not to touch, and that he had to stay behind the chain.
Noah thought that the "scary grinch" was pretty cool too.
Grandma & Noah.
Noah was so excited when he found out that Santa was there! The boys sat on his lap & Lincoln hardly even fussed either, which surprised me. When Santa asked Noah what he wanted for Christmas - Noah put his index finger on his chin and tapped it repeatedly while saying "Uummmm...ummmm...ummm" (finally I had to pull out the "come on, honey - there are other kids waiting to see Santa"). So, a couple of ummms later he looks Santa in the eyes and said in his most sugary-sweet voice, "Santa, can I please have a Zurg toy?" (I melted.)
I have to mention how extraordinarily patient Noah can be with some things. We learned about this trait of his as he looked forward to our Disneyland vacation for several months. Now, he is being pretty dang patient (particularly for a 2 year old) waiting for this whole Christmas present thing that we've been explaining to him. Any time that we're in a store and see a toy he wants, or he sees an ad on tv or in a magazine, he'll say "I want that, Mom!!" to which I automatically reply, "Well, ask Santa for it & we'll see!" which Noah always responds with an "OK!" This is particularly helpful when he's grabbed an item off the shelf at a store that he wants. I continue to be amazed that my response still works & that he automatically will respond with an "ok!" while putting the item back and simply moving on. He has even recently begun sparing me having to feed him the line, and he'll go straight from, "I want this, Mom!" to "Ask Santa for it?"...so all I even have to say these days is, "yup!" What a kid! (What will I do when Christmas is over however? Any ideas?....)
After seeing Santa Claus I did take Lincoln's candy cane away (poor guy), so he immediately replaced it with my hair. Nice. Serves me right for taking candy away from a child maybe?
There was a kiddie area where you could purchase tickets for various activities. Noah got his heart set on talking to an elf, so we bought a couple of tickets and got in line at the phone booth. This was the slowest moving line of all time, seriously! I don't know how these elves had so much to say to these kids, but every kid seemed to sit in that phone booth chatting forever. So we waited. And waited. And waited. Noah buddied up with the lady that was manning the phone booth (yes, that's her foot in this photo). Then we waited some more...
...eventually Noah resorted to harassing the kids that were in the phone booth. I'm not sure if he thought this might hurry them up, or if it was purely out of sheer boredom. Either way I have to admit that I got a pretty good chuckle out of it.
Finally it was Noah's turn & he seemed to think the whole thing was pretty cool. He went into the booth, dialed up the elf, chatted it up for a bit and then we could hear him say "Bye!" and he hung up and marched out of the booth & wanted to know what we were going to do next! The lady manning the phone booth was really surprised (usually she had to tell the kids that it was time to come out). That's my boy, getting right down to business.
The last thing that Noah chose to use a ticket on was the fish pond (it must have been ice-fishing, right?). Anyway, I was pleased since there was no line at all and it was really cute to watch him catch his fish (which has a sucker or something on it).
Before leaving I told Noah that he could choose one treat to buy, which of course he was really excited about. He chose a bag of Christmas colored popcorn & was quite delighted with his choice. As you can see, Lincoln was past ready for bed at this point as he eyed the popcorn, but didn't seem to have the energy to harass Noah for it or try to take it away. We had such a great time and (other than Lincoln's blow-out diaper right before driving home) it was a fun, mostly relaxing evening! Thanks, Mom!
Before wrapping up this post I thought I'd include a few quick shots from our church Christmas party. We had a great time & everything was really well done. Here is Noah playing with Balloons with a boy in our ward named Jack.
Me and Linc! Isn't he kissable? Also, I have to document that this was, sadly, my last time wearing my jade bracelet (that I loved). My host family bought it for me when I lived in Taiwan. The next day it got dropped in the kitchen and broke into several pieces. *sigh* It was one of only a few pieces of sentimental jewelry that I had left since we were robbed at Christmas time a few years ago while living in Iowa (and all my jewelry was stolen). Bummer.
Yes, Noah giving Lincoln a kiss was adorable (and even more adorable the way that Linc would squeal while he did it)...but I also wanted to show how close their height difference has become already. I'm guessing that Lincoln is going to pass Noah up, what do you think?
At the end of the party I took Noah back to the dessert tables and told him he could pick anything he wanted, but just one. There were pies, cakes, brownies, cookies, etc. He chose raspberry jello! Sweet. That ended up being my choice too (and yes, it was tasty).
I didn't take any pictures at Mark's residency program's Christmas party, but we had a nice time there too...and we've got a few more festive events this week, so hopefully I'll have another post soon! I hope that everyone is enjoying the holidays as much as we are so far!