Anyway, I don't have any hard-and-fast opinions on when Christmas decorations should go up and when Christmas music should be played. I figure the tree should go up when it is most convenient. I remember decorating my parents tree just a day or two before Christmas in the past. But this year little splashes of red or snippets of holiday melody have been popping up around our home for a while now and it is just the day after Thanksgiving. I bought Clara three Christmas Books (Twas the Night Before Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Snowmen at Christmas) and have been reading them to her every day.
On Wednesday my parents and sister were driving into town. While Paul was at work in the morning (he only worked until noon the day before Thanksgiving) and before my family arrived, I dressed Clara in her red velvet pants with cream-and-gold blouse that it dotted with red flowers and adorned with a red ribbon. Then I stuck her reindeer antler headband on her little noggin' and took photos of her with her holiday friends (including baby Jesus from the Little People nativity set that Clara loves playing with - only you can't see baby Jesus as well in the photos because Clara kept
This has to be my new favorite photo of Paul and Clara together. They just adore each other so much. Her fancy pants are still a little too large for her so they kept slipping down when she crawled around and then she would end up standing on them like she is here.
My mom and sister were elated to see Clarabelle since the last time they saw her was when we were in Utah at the end of August when Clara was just 3 months old.
After my family unloaded their bags (and the bigger Christmas presents that they brought out with them since Paul and I won't be able to take them back on the plane with us in December) and we grabbed lunch at La Victoria Taqueria (my favorite), we headed over to the mall to take photos with Santa. Unfortunately, Santa was out to lunch when we got there are 2:30 so we did a little browsing before we got in line. I felt so bad because it was WAY past Clara's nap time and the poor thing was SO sleepy. After we took the photos she just laid her wee head on my shoulder and rested with only an occasional kick of a leg compared to her typical churning heels she was that tired.
Clara liked looking at the Christmas ornaments while we were waiting in line. I have a feeling that now that she can crawl that she is going to be making a beeline for our Christmas tree and yanking off any ornament she can reach.
My friend from church recommended that we go to the Santa at Oakridge Mall instead of the Santa at Valley Fair. He was awesome. He had actual ringlets in his beard, which was real. He talked with Clara and was so friendly and kind. I didn't see a single kid cry with him. Paul stood outside the photo area and took pictures from behind the "no photography beyond this point" signs. I'm glad he captured these images of Clara meeting Santa because she just gazed at him for a little bit before turning and posing for the camera with a dreamy look in her eye.
And here is her first official photo with Santa Claus.
Let the Christmas season begin!