Normally I’m against torture…

Normally I’m against torture…

There’s something about a new year that gets me all nostalgic.  Or maybe it’s because I’ve finally updated to the new iOS which no longer supports iPhoto and so all 48 thousand photos I had nicely organized are now in one jumbled mess and have required hours of sorting… I’m not annoyed about that, no.

I digress.  One of my favorite Christmas decorations my mom would put out each year was our collection of pictures with Santa.  There is one in particular, where I’m sporting some crazy curls and my 2 year old brother is snotty, red-faced and screaming bloody murder.  I love that picture and was determined to keep the tradition of screaming children on Santa’s lap photos when I finally had my own kids.

I know, I know, I’m supposed to be all attachment parenting and anti-cry it out.  And yes, I believe strongly in those things.  But I take a pass once a year and force my children to sit on a scary stranger’s lap while I take their picture.  In theory it’s a terrible thing to do.  But in reality… c’mon, it’s tradition!!

Isla has never failed to disappoint.  Okay when she was two months old, she sat like a little blob, but since 2 month olds pretty much do that 24/7, I wasn’t too worried.


But one year old Isla and two year old Isla…. gold.

Three year old Isla bragged about how brave she was.  Santa?  Who’s scared of Santa?


But this was as close as she’d get to the non-Daddy version that year.


I had high hopes for Ruby.  And then my dreams were dashed when she giggled and grinned for the camera!

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No way am I paying for professional pictures again if my kid is gonna smile!  Isla liked Santa when she was four because, well, she liked Santa’s manicure.  And don’t be fooled by Ruby’s face.  She loved Santa, hated the camera.

So now I think Isla is finally growing out of her fear and Ruby loves the guy.  She does hate flowers, apparently, so I do still have that going for me.


Then surprise! Baby #3 comes along.  He sleeps through his first Santa picture, while Isla refuses to get close and Ruby cheeses like she’s been doing this her whole life.  Which she has.

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We had lots of Santa practice this year, and I fully expected Luka to follow Ruby’s lead.  He’s pretty happy go lucky and I’ve never seen him afraid of anything (unlike Isla who was afraid of pumpkins at his age?!?)  He was proving me right and I figured the tradition was dying now that Isla is six and totally confident around strange men with fake beards.

Oh yeah, also, this happened.


So when we were in the mall and saw a Santa doing pictures… for free… with no line, I thought why not?



Long live tradition!




Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!



“Do not be afraid!  I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.”  (Lk 2:10-11)



Merry Christmas!

Our love/hate relationship with Santa

Our love/hate relationship with Santa

Isla has never been a fan of Santa.




Last year she was more than happy to sit on Santa’s lap when it was her Daddy, but wanted nothing to do with the Santa at the mall.


Apparently this past week Isla saw Santa while she was on a field trip and wasn’t scared because her teacher told her kids in KG don’t cry about Santa anymore.  And I think the nail polish on this Santa won her over.


Ruby on the other hand has never met a stranger, including Santa.

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She tells us she’s scared of Santa (in the cutest little voice with her hands clenched in fists by her face… “scare!”)… but when push comes to shove, she’ll sit on pretty much anyone’s lap.


(The pouty face has more to do with the fact that she is getting her picture taken – which she apparently hates right now)

I feel like a bad mom… but I actually crack up at the terrified kid on Santa’s lap pictures.  So I’m admittedly bummed that Ruby seems to have no problem with him.

Flowers on the other hand….


Ruby and Santa

Ruby and Santa

I could write paragraphs about the cultural experience we had today.  How this was the second time we went for the parade because the first time we showed up at the time advertised only to find out there wasn’t actually a parade that day.  How we were given a ticket with a time slot to get into Santa’s Village but about 20 minutes after our time came and went they just opened the doors and it was a pushing, shoving free for all to get in.  Or about how when we finally pushed our way to the doors they closed them and told us we’d have to wait ten minutes because it was full, only to open the doors to let Nancy Ajram and her family through.

But really the whole point of the post is this picture, so I’ll just share it and shut up.  :)

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(can you guess which picture we had to pay 10,000 for? haha!)

Isla and Santa

Isla and Santa

Isla is terrified of Santa.  She tells us that she’ll probably like him when she’s seven.  I’m definitely thankful that we decided not to do the whole Santa-brings-presents-thing, because I think the idea of Santa sneaking into our house while she’s sleeping might very well put her over the edge.

Usually at our annual Christmas party with the girls, Santa comes to pass out the gifts.  But this year, Mona decided that the girls would make their own Santa – ie, dress up Caleb and Joe – to help alleviate some of the fears that Isla and a few of the younger girls have.  First time Isla has been near a Santa without crying… and she told us over and over that she really likes when Daddy and Joe are Santa, but she still doesn’t like the real one!

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She had no problem sitting on his lap at the party, but the last picture is about as close as we could get her to the Santa in the mall!

No picture yet of Ruby with Santa.  We tried to go on Christmas Eve, but apparently “Santa’s Village open every day until Dec 31 from 4-8pm” doesn’t actually mean every day.  I’m hoping that since we still have a few weeks before Eastern Christmas that we can find a Santa somewhere.  Although I’m not expecting a fun picture like Isla’s given us the past few years… Ruby is a crazy people person and I’m sure she’ll love Santa just as much as every other person in the world!