Monday, December 16, 2013

A family tradition

It all started last year. Anderson and I were looking for a way to spend a full weekend not focusing on money or on cleaning the house or even any of the adult things we are required to do but rather to spend it as a family doing some of our favorite holiday things with little man. At the time we didn’t realize the day before events (Sandy Hook) would make it that much more meaningful. All we knew was that we would see Santa, and the lights at Bull Run National Park. It meant making cookies and having an absolute blast doing so.
What it would turn out to be was the start of our own family holiday tradition.
And what would be involved in the family fun weekend?  Well for starters a lot of baking. Gingerbread, sugar cookies and Snicker doodles was on tap this year. While my husband loved the Snicker doodles, Logan and I preferred the decorating of the gingerbread. Because really what kid doesn’t love getting hands messy?  (Confession time. Neither myself, nor Logan likes to actually.)  And while I am not much of a cook, baking cookies is something I actually really enjoy doing.
After making enough cookies to feed an entire population it is off to lunch. Believe me; we need the energy if we are to keep up with the likes of an almost five year old! We try to let him decide how he wants to spend the day, doing extra magical things he usually doesn’t get to do all year long. For the past two years it has been off to Build-A-Bear workshop. Last year it was Rudolph, this year he bypassed the Christmas themed ones and headed straight for a Star Wars polar bear, complete with the Star Wars theme song, which he appropriately named Luke. Yes daddy was exceptionally proud. Mommy will definitely need to work on at least pretending to like it.  As a surprise we let him pick out an outfit, which of course was….a Jedi in training. Well it was better than the Star Wars theme song with a Christmas outfit anyhow.

With Luke purchased and dressed-yes we had to if he was going to meet the Big Man himself-it was off to meet Santa. Now while we were on our way over, little man started talking about the big man. And it broke my heart because I am so not ready for that talk right now. But it was not to be this year. His discussion was to inform us that he knew Santa was real, even if we couldn’t exactly see him. But he also knew that the Santa we did see at the malls wasn’t actually the real guy because he is just super busy so instead he had to send his helpers down to meet everyone.
Yes, let’s go with that.

We had been scoping out Santa’s however. And despite the many options we had, it was decided that we would go back to Fair Oaks mall to visit the Ice Palace and Santa. Ironically the theme was polar bears. Luke was right at home. The wait was ridiculous though, and coming from a family that spends more time in Disney World we are used to waiting. But two and a half hours to see Santa was a bit extreme. He did well though and by the time we got to the snowing globe, well he was pretty excited. And the look on Logan’s face when he met him was priceless, even if he did get a little star struck and couldn’t remember a thing he asked for. Unfortunately neither could Santa, who informed him he was just as start struck meeting Logan to remember. Class act right there. As a bonus, Santa was willing to meet Luke, a fact that thrilled Logan.

With his request to Santa now done, it was off to dinner, where he proudly showed off Luke to the entire restaurant. And yes the Star Wars theme song was played all the way to the table, ok so maybe more than just daddy would be impressed and thrilled by the end of the evening.
Rounding out the whirlwind of a family fun day was a drive through the Festival of Lights at Bull Run. Yes I realize for the most part they are the same every year. But that does not stop us from marveling in the beauty of them as we blare holiday songs. And the fact there was still a layer of snow on the ground only added to the beauty.
We ended it with a stop yesterday at St. Paul's episcopal church in Gainesville for a Christmas ceremony and children's gathering, remembering what the season truly is about.
I can not say if we will always do the same exact routine. I am sure as the years go by things will change. Cookies may not always get made, Build-a-bear will be replaced with the latest fad, the lights may be a different location. In the long run, what we do is of little importance. 
It's just being together and realizing that for a moment, the joy is back.
And isn't that what the season is about?

1 comment:

Jessica | Living La Vida Holoka said...

Oh my gosh! This is such a beautiful family tradition and Logan is lucky to have you as his mama. :)