The Christmas season didn't wait an extra second this year before going big! December had barely begun before our camera was filling up with holiday photos.
At the beginning of the month we spent an evening with our friends the Hills at the Raleigh Stake Community Christmas Celebration. Each year they display nativity scenes from all over the world, and dress the cultural hall to the nines. Their chapel is adjacent to the cultural hall, and throughout the evening different musical groups took turns treating us with their Christmas carols while we walked around and enjoyed the beautiful creches.
Gigi's favorite part of the evening was the live nativity they had outside in the cold, which was open for anyone to join. The sweet children were dressed in robes, and Gigi kept saying, "I want to wear what the girl is wearing, with the blue dress and holding the baby".
On a Saturday morning I took Giovanna and Orion to the Emerson Waldorf School holiday faire. Giovanna was very excited about riding in the horse-drawn wagon. It was quite magical to ride through the forest with the jingle bells keeping pace with the horses' canter.
And that weekend I also joined a group of church friends at a local nursing home for caroling. What we lacked in musicality we definitely made up for in enthusiasm! Lots of kids = a good caroling experience.
Each year our holidays have been different, but sometimes we stumble across events and activities that we want to keep as traditions for coming years. This year we definitely want to add the Fitch Lumber Christmas party to our list! A locally owned lumber store in Carrboro hosts a great Christmas party for the kiddos, and it was perfect: Santa was there, free pizza dinner with drinks and cookies, popcorn bags for snacking, and a few fun crafts for the kiddos. It was intimate and with just a few activities, it was not too overwhelming. And how great is this Santa? Gigi had no issues sitting on his lap. She told him, "I want gummy bears to share with my friends and candy canes". His red sack just happened to be full of candy canes, so in ten seconds 50% of her wishlist was granted. She still reminds me that she wants gummy bears for Christmas. Her total fixation with sweets is tempered by the fact that a) she only wants one easily-purchased item for Christmas, and b) she wants gummy bears so that she can share them with her friends.