This month has been so grim. And I have much to say on the grimness, but also on the good stuff. And it’s been a long day that began with me getting my finger dissected, so right now I feel like talking about good stuff! I want to post some pictures of Santa! And our tree! And festive festiveness, dammit!!

We did not head into the city this year for a Macy’s Santa picture because, as mentioned above, it’s been a bit of a month. I kind of went with a low-key Santa approach this year and just took Hannah to our local mall one weekend at lunchtime while Adam was doing a photo shoot. I pre-booked a time slot, we walked right in, and…she refused to pose with Santa.

H had been so excited to see him! She studied the Toys ‘R Us catalog many times, and we circled and talked about what to ask Santa for. This is the first year she really had enough language to get into the process, and she was really into it. And we wrote out a card with her big Santa wish this year (a toy kitchen), and cut out a picture of one from the catalog. I wrote a note about her apraxia. I thought this would be a smooth year with Santa.

But she really didn’t want to sit on his lap. Or next to him.She did hand him her special card, though. Then she parked on a trunk that was just out of camera range, a good 5 feet minimum safe distance. And I didn’t push it, but I did get her to sit on my lap for about 10 seconds. Which was enough to get a photo! And that was our Santa trip this year, and I am completely okay with that. If she doesn’t want to sit on a strange bearded man’s lap and take photos, I am certainly not going to hold it against her.

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But to be honest, I had an inkling where Santa was heading this year after we did the lovely Santa train at the Whippany Railway Museum. My whole family went the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but Hannah and my 8-year-old niece Grace were pretty shy when it came to actually approaching Santa. From a distance, he’s amazing! Up close, he can be a lot to take in. But the train was still so much fun!

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And then we moved on with our holiday festive times. We’ve had a pretty festive month, all things considered. It is 3 days till Christmas, and I can honestly say there were times this month when I didn’t think we’d be festive at all. But the holiday is coming together, and I think it’ll be a good one!