Thursday, December 15, 2011

New & Old Traditions

I have to say, that one of the most fun things about having my own family is determining the various traditions we keep during the holidays. This year is the first Christmas we're celebrating in our new house, so it's the first time we've decorated it. We moved in a year ago in November, but spent Christmas in Kansas City.

We decided we really needed something on our lawn, so we got an inflatable Santa. I think he must be kin with the Wicked Witch of the West, because during the day he looks like a puddle.

We always hear about the Garden of Lights in Wheaton, but usually after the fact. This was the first year we made it out to it, and it was a blast. Doug loved running around and looking at all the light sculptures. He's wearing a nice coat that his Uncle John gave him last year. It finally fits!

Inside one of the buildings at the park they have a model train exhibit. Doug was completely fascinated by it and we spent a good half hour in there.

Here he's looking through the tunnel, waiting for the trolley to return.

Every year growing up we'd go with my Grandfather and Uncle and cut down a fresh Christmas tree. I was very excited to include Doug in on this tradition with my family. Below he's pictured with his Uncle John scouting out trees.

This is the tree that Jeff cut down. Doug is very fond of sticks, every time he picks one up I try to get him to say 'Expecto Patronum!'. No such luck yet.

After we cut down trees, we go for lunch. The place we eat is near train tracks. We happened to sit out on a screened in patio, about 10 feet from the tracks. We saw two trains go by and Doug was in heaven!

This is a picture of the tree at home. Note that Doug is diligently UN-decorating the tree. That's a train (with moving wheels) that Nan gave Jeff many years ago. Doug's pretty sure it's his awesome new toy. Also note the seasonally appropriate Darth Vader t-shirt.

My high school has a 'Cookies with Santa' event for Alumni and their families and this is the second year we've taken Doug. I've still yet to see any '01ers there (ahem), but we had fun. It's a nice no pressure situation for the kids to see Santa.

Last weekend we went with my family to to Strasburg PA to see Santa on a train. Maybe the reindeer were in the shop? Anyhow, Doug is very into trains and it was a blast.

Santa gifted Doug with a small engine, so I'm pretty sure any lingering anxiety about Santa is now completely gone.

I'm really hoping we'll add the Santa train ride to our Christmas traditions.

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