I love Christmas.  I mean really, I *LOVE* Christmas.  I love Christmas Carols.  I love the smell of Frasier Firs and Balsam.  I love Gingerbread and Pumpkin Pie.  I love reading Holiday Newsletters.  I love seeing light displays around our neighborhood.  I love finding the perfect gifts for the people I love.  I love spending the day with my family.  I have been so very excited about this season since this Christmas is Monkey’s first.  I’ve wanted to make sure that he looked the part to commemorate all of those special firsts.

I remember that when the Big One was born, I was so excited about finally being able to send out a Christmas card with a cute baby picture.  Maybe it’s just me, but the only cards that I enjoy are the photo cards.  I don’t care if the children are 2-weeks or 15 years old, I like seeing how a family is growing and changing.  Generic Christmas cards don’t interest me to much.  Since this was the first year that we had two beautiful children, Christmas cards were a big deal for our family this year, with everyone getting into making a great card.  The Mellow Man was anxious about us getting the perfect pictures to share on our Christmas cards, and wouldn’t let me procrastinate too much!  I forgot how much work it can be to get posed and perfect photos of a baby with props and lighting and cooperating brothers.  Luckily, I think the pictures ended up being darling.

CHristmas 2012

Monkey at Christmas

I even got the Big One to pose happily with his little brother, smiling and wearing a matching stocking cap!  (Unfortunately, the Little Monkey was cranky and tired in these pictures, so he didn’t want to cooperate.)  These days getting the Big One to agree to go along with any scheme of mine is quite challenging.  However, both boys ended up looking adorable in their matching hats.  In case you were interested in getting one for yourself some time, I purchases them in an Etsy store, and they were just as cute as the pictures.  (Did I mention that Etsy is a fabulous source for stocking caps?!)

I took the Big One to get his picture taken with Santa when he was 8 weeks old.  He slept through the entire experience.  I love the picture of him with Santa– he’s yawning!  I have an ornament on our tree of him and Santa in a frame that I found that year at Pottery Barn Kids.  I have had visions of having two ornaments with baby boys and held by Santa on our tree.  A few days after Monkey was born, I tried to make a reservation with Atlanta’s “premier” Santa.  However, I learned that all slots for the holiday season (that started November 1st) were filled in early August!!  I wasn’t to be dissuaded, and I found another Santa that is wonderful, but for some reason, not as coveted as the “premier” one.

I tried my darnedest to get the Big One to agree to go see Santa with Monkey.  I wanted a picture of both of them on Santa’s lap and then a separate one of just Monkey.  My tween flat out refused.  I think the matching stocking caps were his limit! I begged and pleaded asked him to go with us for days.  It got to the point that the Big One got angry if we started mentioning Santa around him.  It’s probably just as well, as I was able to take the Little Monkey to visit Santa mid-morning on a school day.  There was no line.  It was a simple, positive experience.  I had the Monkey wear his long stocking cap, that I purchased in another Etsy store.  I tried hard to get him to smile, but it wasn’t happening! I still like the picture, and I even found a Pottery Barn Kids ornament for it to go in!

Monkey with Santa

Now we’re down to just two days before Christmas.  I’m busy checking my own list off to make sure that everything is ready for the big day.  I think it is.   I know that MM will have a camera ready to snap all of our special family moments and record the Monkey’s first Christmas.  I’m a little sad that all of the festivities, carols and lights will be ending. On the upside, I can start daydreaming about next Christmas, where the Little Monkey will be excited about boxes and wrapping paper, and will care very little about the presents inside them!

Monkey under the Christmas Tree