Monday, December 3, 2007

Let the countdown begin

The countdown has begun around our house. Today finds us at 22 and counting. Counting down to Santa and the goods, that is.

Alena and Alivia are now old enough that they understand Santa, they understand he's going to bring presents and THEY CAN'T WAIT. Prior to the start of our advent countdown on Saturday, they would ask each day if Santa was coming that night. Once advent calendars came out and we started the practice of opening a number each day, they can now see how many days are left in our waiting game.

Saturday, the first day of December, found us in line for a visit with Santa. Anticipating differing levels of gladness in seeing Santa, everyone was prepared during our drive to the mall that no one had to sit on Santa's lap if they didn't want to and no one had to have their picture taken with Santa.

Alena was quick to make friends with the jolly old man, while Alivia choose not to sit on his lap, but a seat next to him was okay for a quick couple of pictures. Trace and Alysse weren't quite sure what to make of the whole ordeal, but tolerated a quick sit on his lap for a photo documenting their first official Santa visit.

Both Alena and Alivia told Santa what they were hoping for on Christmas morning. Alena stuck with her fancy Taylor Swift guitar request and Alivia put in a request for a horse (let's hope she's talking the stuffed variety here).

After their visit we hit the Starbucks kiosk adjacent to the Santa set up and the girls enjoyed a coffee (hot chocolate) with mom and dad. Dad introduced Alivia to hot chocolate last Thursday and let's just say she's a fan. His calling it coffee and her having her own little coffee-to-go cup adds to its appeal, I'm sure.

While Alivia finished her coffee, Alena opted to walk with mom as Trace and Alysse hinted they would rather ride in the stroller, taking in the sights, than sit at the small Starbucks table. With each lap we did around Santa's gazebo, Alena stopped to wave, check out what he was doing and most importantly, just make sure he was still there.

About three laps into our "walk," she was becoming a bit of a Santa stalker, having waved several times, given him "five" when he got up to throw away his Starbucks cup and completely sizing him up from head to toe. Truth be told, Santa was probably glad when Alena was waving good-bye for the final time that morning.

On the way home we had to field questions about Santa and his beard. According to Alena, Santa's beard looked different than it does in our "Santa's Rockin'" Wiggles DVD. I attempted to explain away the difference by saying that Santa has to trim his beard. My explanation, however, wasn't sufficient, as she continued to question the difference.

Jason went on to tell her the video is a few years old, so Santa looks a bit different on it than he does now. That seemed to work a bit better. Later that night, having some time to think about her beard concerns, I realized that the Wiggles' Santa wears a costume beard, whereas the Santa we visited had the real deal. Give the kid some kudos for her astute beard observations.

This Saturday the older girls are attending a breakfast with Santa at the YMCA where Alena goes to preschool, let's hope this weekend's Santa looks fairly close to the St. Nick we saw last weekend, otherwise we'll be forced to get really creative with our answers.

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