Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Festival of Lights and Santa Picture Fail

Yesterday was J's 42nd birthday (man he's getting old!) and since it was a Tuesday and we obviously weren't going to make it out for a date night we decided maybe we could start a new tradition and go to the Festival of Lights.  James Island County Park has a huge light display set up that you can drive through as well as a Santa village with food, a carousel and visits with Santa.  I picked up the kids from daycare, made Andrew a quick dinner, nursed Elliot and got the diaper bag ready so we could go. We were out the door at 5:30 and headed towards James Island.

The whole way there I was talking to Andrew about seeing the lights and asked him if he was going to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what he wants for Christmas. He would enthusiastically say "Yeah!" every time I asked. I had such high hopes that everything would go smoothly (I'm so naive).

We got there and paid the fee to get in. Instantly Andrew was exclaiming about the lights. In order for him to see better I got him out of his seat, sat him in my lap and put the seatbelt around both of us. Yes, I know some people will be shaking their head in disbelief that we did that, but you are seriously driving no faster than 10 MPH at most, and it's probably even slower.  He loved being able to see everything and was so excited.

About halfway through the park there was the parking lot if you wanted to get out and walk to Santa's village.  We put Elliot in the stroller and headed over. There were places to roast marshmallows, food stands, make your own stuffed animal things, the carousel that I knew Andrew wouldn't ride and then we found Santa. There was a decent sized line, but it appeared to be moving quickly.  Those little elves up there taking the pictures had a good system going and it all appeared to be going smoothly. While we waited I was watching all the other kids and only noticed one or two that appeared to have a meltdown. I kept talking to Andrew and again asked him if he was going to sit on Santa's lap. This time he shook his head and said "No.".  My first red flag.

Soon we were to the bottom of the steps and I was trying to get Elliot's jacket on him. I'm an idiot and didn't think to put them in cute Christmas outfits before the left the house.  Oh well. At least I had Elliot's Rudolph hat.

When it was our turn I walked over and placed Elliot in Santa's arm while J walked towards him with Andrew.  That's when the howling began. Andrew was like a spastic little monkey, clinging to J for dear life while shouting "No!" and crying. He tried prying Andrew off and putting him on Santa's lap, but it was no use. We were clearly not going to get a picture of just the kids and Santa. Instead we had to settle for a picture that included daddy.

Yeah, there's no prying that kid off

Then we figured, what the hell - might as well get the whole family in there:

 After that I asked if we could get a picture with just Elliot since he was cooperating:

When she was done snapping the pictures I grabbed the diaper bag and walked over to the counter where J was standing with a slightly more calm Andrew. It wasn't until I heard "Uh... mom?" from the lady taking the pictures that I realized I had completely walked away and left Elliot just chilling on Santa's lap. Oops!  I ran back over and picked him up, apologizing for forgetting him. I guess if you're gonna leave your baby somewhere what better place than with Santa, huh?  :)

We could have just bought one picture,  but decided that for entertainment purposes we'd buy the whole set on the USB drive. We did get the picture of Elliot above printed out since we got a free 5 x 7 with the purchase of the USB.

As we were walking back to the car Andrew started saying "Go see Santa Claus?".  Sorry buddy, you missed your chance.  We got them loaded back in the car and pulled out ready to drive through to see the rest of the lights.  Andrew started saying "Sit with me?" over and over again before finally saying "Sit with mommy?". I reached back and got him out of his seat and put him back on my lap so he could see the lights. He was back to his happy self exclaiming about the lights and pointing out the candy canes and Santas and snowflakes.  When we made it to the end we pulled over so we could get him back in his car seat.  He was pretty quiet most of the way home and I thought maybe he was going to fall asleep since it was almost his bed time. Just when I thought he was out his little voice piped up from the back seat with the declaration of "I don't like Santa Claus.".  I looked at J and just busted out laughing.  Oh toddlers....


  1. No judgement here because we did the EXACT same thing with C during our Festival of Lights drive this year. Ours is at the raceway track so it's NBD in my opinion (although, I'm sure you're right that someone will be shaking their head about it). That's hilarious about Andrew saying he doesn't like Santa, kids really do say the darndest things! lol

  2. Still sounds like a great time, even without the photo you envisioned! I think it is all about memories, even if they aren't perfect!

  3. PS Elliot looks soo cute with Santa!