I'm kind of a traditions girl. Every year since Boy Wonder was a baby we have taken the kids to see Santa. The funny thing is that for each boy their second Christmas when they were around 20 months they refused to sit with Santa so I have no photo of them that year. So...I was wondering how would Emily do. Would she too not sit with Santa being that this was her 20 month photo shot? I have photos in frames all over the house of the kids with Santa that I put up every December. We talked a lot about how wonderful Santa was and how he brings presents to the children on X-mas Eve. We have also seen the Polar Express about a million times this season thanks to Bubba which has really helped too. Emily, naturally was really unsure about Santa, but what a trooper. And of course it helped that her brothers were over the moon to see him. After that visit she pointed out Santa everytime she saw his image..in books, ornaments, decorations in the house. And she says it so cute. I've heard it a million times and I still can't figure out which sounds she is adding or substituting in his name. Hubby thinks she is saying SHanta. And it almost always comes out in a long drawn out whisper. The dress Emily is wearing was her X-mas Eve dress and it was one that I bought for her last year. I saw it in the store when I was shopping for the boys last X-mas and just fell in love with it. It was my gift for her under the tree when she couldn't be home with us last Christmas. And I'm so glad it fit!! I almost bought the 18 month but talked myself into the 24 month and thank goodness I did!!
Another tradition I love. I fell in love with clay ornaments when my hubby and I were looking for something special to put on our tree when we celebrated our first children's first Christmas. Our first children were the terrible twins...our furbabies, Mandy and James. This was back when we were just living together long before we married. From that first Christmas every year we got a family ornament that symbolized something we had done that year. When our human babies began to arrive we added to the tradition by giving them an individual ornament for their ornament collection. The idea being that when they are grown they will have a set of ornaments to take with them for their own Christmas trees and with it a set of memories of their years in our family. And since I'm not very good with giving things up, I will get to keep the family ornaments. So in keeping with the tradition this year we got to add Emily to our family ornament and she got her own individual ornaments too. To help catch her up she actually got 3 ornaments this year.
The little horse we bought in St. Petersburg on our first trip to represent her culture and her birth. I loved this ornament because the horse reminds me of the horse used in scandinavian traditions which is present in my boys' backgrounds. The matryoshka doll is wearing the traditional blue russian costume to represent St Petersburg and was purchased the morning we went to court on our 2nd trip. And even though these 2 ornaments are not made of clay they are very dear to me. How I held onto them while we waited for Emily to come home.
This last ornament is because I had so few baby things of Emily. This is her little handprint taken in the first few months she was home. Her hand has already grown so much since this imprint was taken. I also have a larger clay piece that has her hand and foot on it that is framed for her as part of her babyhood collection.
And last her "first Christmas home" ornament with her cute little face on it which looks very similar to Bubba's "Baby's first Christmas" ornament.