Yes, it is really true....Christmas Day is only 10 days away. I still love the magic of the season, but now that I am a parent, it's a tad more stressful -- because now I am the one who is MAKING the magic in our home. But it's worth it when you see your kids loving it all.
We have created some traditions with our little family that P and T look forward to every year. Sometimes we can do all of them, and sometimes we have to leave a few out depending on our schedule.
Part I - CHRISTMAS IN PHILLY
Since we're only an hour from the City of Brotherly Love, we often make the trek up for different events. We usually go to the Thanksgiving Day Parade (unless it's 18 degrees out, like it was this year). We love Phillies games. Sometimes the hubby and I do Date Night up there. But we always pick an evening right before Christmas to go up and see the "real" Santa with the kids.
You know how you suddenly get that FEELING of Christmas? It seeps into your soul and (almost) every moment you just emanate Christmas Spirit? I usually get that about a week before the big day and I get it because of our evening in Philly. We go during the week so that it is A LOT less crowded.
Armed with a car-friendly snack, we pick the kids up from school and start the drive up to Philly. Sometimes the traffic is a bit hairy, but often we can make it by 4:45. If we are lucky, we will park in a lot directly in front of Macy's on Market Street. We then walk a few blocks down to the Hard Rock Cafe for an early dinner. Although it's not my favorite place, we chose it back when P was little because it was loud enough to mask her screams/whining if she got fussy. Now it is a tradition. Besides, their mac n cheese is top-notch -- and I don't even like mac n cheese.
Once dinner is over, we head to Macy's for the Light Show and Dickens' Village. On the weekends, the attraction is packed (I've seen the pictures). So far we've been really lucky. Some years are more crowded than others, but we have NEVER had to wait in a line until we get to Santa -- and even that line is only 3-5 minutes.
The Dickens Village is amazing. It depicts the classic story of Scrooge with a 6,000 square foot vintage animatronic display. You can leisurely stroll through looking at scenes of Ebeneezer, Tiny Tim's family, and the three ghosts. The details are impressive.
Once Scrooge becomes a changed man, visitors come face-to-face with Santa's helpers. Those who wish to speak to the big man get in line; others can proceed through to the - surprise, surprise - gift shop. Every year they hand out a pin to commemorate your visit. We now have 12 pins (somewhere).
My kids always believed that this is the only "real" Santa. The others in the malls are just his helpers.
As you can see, P is thrilled. HOWEVER, she won't take a chance and NOT sit with him. Let's see how it goes this year now that she is 12. T, who we call "Buddy the Elf", will probably still visit Santa when he's in his 60s. He loves Christmas.
Once we leave Santa, we find a spot on the main floor to watch the light show. Narrated by Julie Andrews, this is when I am completely into Christmas. At the end of the show, the organ plays and the entire wall of lights (more than 100,000 of them) light up to show all of the Christmas stories.
It is THAT MOMENT when I am ready for Christmas.
Part II - A CATHEDRAL CHRISTMAS (coming tomorrow)
Hi. My name is Kelley Cole and I am the new Social Media and Event Coordinator for Delaware Housewives in the City. I am a mom to two amazing kids. My daughter (P) is 12 and my son (T) is 8. My husband works for a local education association and also serves on Dover's City Council. I was a high school English teacher for 16 years before leaving the classroom to work part-time as a trainer for an educational software company. I make sure I reserve time to play tennis, read chick lit, travel, and enjoy the small things in life (like wine and chocolate).