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Sneaky Holiday Traditions

2015 December 7
by Becky


Whether you try to or not, traditions have a way of working their way into the holidays.

Last year was our first matchy-holiday PJs experience and it was so stinkin cute I’ll do it every year till they are 30. Ok 12. Or as long as they’ll humor me. The Hanna Andersson sets (bought months ago) were opened day two of our Christmas countdown calendar and Ethan was over the moon, asking if he could try them on before school. Since there’s been a lot of Star Wars talk around here lately, I could’t resist the fair isle Star Wars pattern…it’s discrete yet definitively Darth Vader-centric.


How did I get Finn to hold still for this? Mini M&Ms. A little tube full that I could shake to make him smile. Finally, a trick to keep him in place…for like 20 seconds. Hey, I’ll take what I can get!

Yet another tradition snuck up on us when three years ago we went to breakfast with Santa and now the season doesn’t seem complete without spending a morning someplace bright and sunny, eating eggs and french toast sticks, while Mr. Claus entertains the kiddos. This year we tried the Botanical Garden event (last two it was the Zoo) and it was really cute.


Finn was a trooper, no tears and he even cracked a smile. Sure he lost a shoe in the process but it’s a small price to pay for an adorable Santa pic! Ethan took his meeting with the big guy pretty seriously, taking his turn on the knee to discuss the “Grimlock Transformer Dinobot” he desperately wants to see under our tree. He was so confident and excited, even though I’m pretty sure he knows the real story behind this whole system.


Like last year, Finn loved the strolling characters. We thought for sure he’d take some steps toward Rudolph’s blinking nose but nope, it wasn’t on his terms. Have I mentioned he walks now? But ONLY when we are a) not watching or b) not at all ready for him to do so. But I did manage to capture the very first official steps on video.


Santa was really wonderful and setting was very nice, plus we stuck around to watch the Muny Kids perform—Ethan thought they were amazing and just might be up for following in my show choir footsteps. Just thinking about it makes me want to flash some jazz hands and do a little twirl.


Another tradition involves a little more icing and a lot more patience—something Ethan has more of each year. Gingerbread kits are everywhere, I picked this one up at Michael’s for $9 and it kept our attention for an hour. Good thing Stu was home to distract Finn from doing a Hulk-smash on our construction site. Ethan worked diligently, sometimes doing everything himself, sometimes creative-directing me with the icing bag.



He of course wanted a T-Rex on there (that’s who took a bite out of the top corner, after all) so I used my new-found dino-drawing skills to make one out of fondant…it’s not great but he thinks it’s the bomb. Fondant isn’t very forgiving. I was so impressed with his interest, creativity, and diligence in putting together this masterpiece, what a difference a year makes.

Other “traditions” include the Garden Glow, our countdown calendar, and we’ll do the Kirkwood Candy Cane Hunt for the second year. All fun, all recommended.

You’ve probably noticed Ethan’s missing a tooth, a story I’ve completely neglected to tell because, frankly, it took us completely by surprise. But that’s a whole other post!

What holiday traditions have snuck up on you? What do you love doing every year? 


6 Responses
  1. Linda Johnson permalink
    December 7, 2015

    Adorable! Love the Christmas Jammies and Ethan’s dino ginger bread house. What a fun time of year for children of all ages. I cannot wait to hear about Ethan’s missing tooth. See you in a few weeks.

  2. December 7, 2015

    That dino looks awesome! How crazy were the botanical gardens? Do you like it better than the zoo? I’ve considered it (maybe next year???), but my tolerance for holiday crowds is kind of low. I love the Muny kids, though. And your pictures are too cute.
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    • Becky permalink*
      December 8, 2015

      It was great! I think it was a little better than the zoo. The food was about the same (so not that great), but it was closer and seemed smaller. The Santa was REALLY nice and we didn’t stand in line at all to see him. There were cute activities for the kids and the Gardenland Express was included (don’t forget to do the picture hunt when you go!) and the Muny Kids were a really special treat. Overall I’d say it was a really fun morning. Gotta book SUPER early though, we barely made it into the 8am time slot.

  3. December 8, 2015

    So cute!! Finn looks a little concerned about Santa! The jams are the best and the pics are priceless. Hard to believe Finn is standing in the middle of the room watching Christmas characters. The gingerbread house is a master piece. A year’s difference is huge!!

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