Thursday, December 17, 2009

Visiting Santa

At the beginning of the month, we met all the grandparents at our favorite mall and took ER to see Santa at his medieval styled castle. It went A LOT better than it did two Christmases ago, when ER was crying hysterically and all three of us ended sitting on Santa's lap to get her to calm down. Scroll down farther to see how that time went, or didn't go depending on how you look at it.
When we walked up to Santa, she did go behind me but with a little coaxing she went up to Santa and gave him a hug. A few moments later she was on her lap and we got some sweet smiles. She also told him very quietly that she wants a mommy Cinderella doll with all the outfits.
The mall is very elaborately decorated, look at the huge beautiful boat with motorized oars that's right by Santa's castle. ER loves going up and down the glass elevator and watching it.And the big guy in red's castle, well that's over the top beautiful with all sorts of little fun details all over it.ER was especially taken with the little elf who peeked out from time to time, from the towers. She dragged all the grandparents over to see him.
She also loved the backside of the castle, where the magical kitchen is. Magical because the bowls spin around and move on their own. ER kept asking me, what are them baking?Because Santa's castle is so fabulous there can be extremely long waits. Brad had a Wednesday off so we took the opportunity to go during the week when it would be less crowded. On the weekends the wait can be four hours from when you get there; sometimes appointments are all filled up for the day by early afternoon.
Even if we don't see Santa, like we didn't last year, we have been going to this mall for years just to enjoy the decorations. When Brad and I lived out of state we always still made a stop here during our holiday visit home to see the decorations. I love the rich colors and the elaborate decorated trees, I think I sense a photo op!
See what I mean? I turned this photo in a digital card, that I got free from Becky Higgins. I love the colors and modern design of this one but there are several choices. It was so easy to drop in my photo, and now I can order as many or as few 4X6 copies as I need. They also come in 5X7. I only ordered a few folded photo cards, because I wanted to use the two sets of end of the season bargain Christmas cards sets I've been storing year after year. These will be great to add to those cards so everyone still gets a picture from us.
Our big moment is almost here, waiting on the benches before we're annouced, with Papa, Grammy, and Grandma Norma.
I also added this picture to one of digital cards I mentioned above, one of the green designs. Once we were with Santa we got six great pictures that we got on CD with the reproduction rights included. We also got each picture developed as a 4X6 and two wallets, it was a pretty nice package and Santa was so patient with ER.
You can't leave a magic castle without some silver coins, right? At the end of our visit, each child gets three silver coins that they can use to "buy" little treats from participating stores at the mall. It's a great fun deciding what to get and gives you something to do while you wait an hour for you photos to be developed. ER ended up with a cookie from Mrs. Fields and two finger puppets from Potterybarn Kids. It was a really fun holiday outing that we'll all remember for quite different reasons then the time we tried two years ago.
We went and had lunch and then had lots of fun browsing in the stores. ER got a really special treat, a visit to Build-a-Bear, to get a new outfit for her many animals from there. I am not exaggerating she has several: Hal and Holly Moose, Hello Kitty, Penelope the Pony, Marge the Husky and her puppy, and the one that started ER's love affair...Patches the Bear. Until recently she never wanted them to wear any clothing, she just liked pulling Marge around on her skateboards. Now she wants them all to be princesses, so we're slowly building up their wardrobe, using a $7 dollars off a $10 purchase coupon this time. I ♥ coupons! The other big draw to this mall is that it has beautiful decorations all over. ER's favorite are the fairies. So of course we had to go on the Sky Walk, over the busy street to the other side of the mall.
They are pretty spectaular and glittery. I should have taken one a picture of them from farther away to show you how much room they take up. Part of their beauty is seeing how they fill up the space. What about you? Do you have anywhere you especially like to go see the decorations at?

6 Friends Said:

Nancy @ Live love laugh said...

With all three of my children i ghave the pic with Santa and the mouth is wide open and sceaming!! That is some set up at the mall. We have a well known large mall here, but nothing like that! The coin idea is fun...they do not "give" amything away here, anymore. Santas in the past were much more generous with prizes! seems like yesterday for me!

Anonymous said...

Wow that mall looks amazing. Unfortunately I live in a small town with a tiny mall. I would love to see a mall like that. Zoe didn't do to good this year with Santa so I didn't take photos. Have a great day!

Tara said...

Elaborate decorations is right on! No wonder she loves it so much.

Katie said...

What an elaborate castle. I can imagine that the lines get crazy long during the holiday. My kids would pose more like ER's early photo with the screaming/crying faces. Bummer! But, I can see that it would be totally worth it just see the set up. I loved yoru 4x6 card creation too. Thanks!!

Valerie @ Inner Child Fun said...

What beautiful family photos, Katie! ER looks positively darling with Santa!! Thanks for sharing the photos of the mall with us. It looks amazing. The fairies are unbelievable! ER must have been in heaven!

Vickie said...

I know where you were;) That malls decorations are always beautiful!!

Babies and Santas...must be like the clownaphobias.

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