Sofia is 16 weeks old today.
On Saturday, we visited Santa Claus and it was awesome!! I had asked friends via Facebook where the best Santa was for Sofia's first visit and overwhelmingly, people suggested a garden center nearby where they have the "Real Santa". (It's Merrifield Garden Center in Fairfax if any locals are interested). It lived up to the hype and had me in tears of joy throughout the visit.
Before Santa invited families to visit with him in his sleigh room, he addressed the crowd from a platform above. He spoke of the true meaning of Christmas and took questions from the children. He then explained that toys break and become undesirable over time and what he really wants for all of us is "written in the clouds" and he pointed to the wall where there were clouds hanging that said things like "love", "peace", "wisdom", "kindness", etc. It was beautiful.
After reciting "The Night Before Christmas" and singing Rudolph with us all, he invited the families back, stating that infants go first so that we don't have to wait so long - we were first! We went to the back where he invited the first 6-8 families into his sleigh room. He then did activities with them and finally said "There's a baby waiting..." and I gave him Sofia and he spoke to her for a good 2-3 minutes, saying "Sofia, one day you'll sit on my lap and ask for a new doll or game or book.... Now I want you to remember what Christmas is about..." and he went on about love and joy in our hearts. Russ is trying to take pictures the whole time. Then he invites me to sit with him and for Russ to pose in the back and he gave us, the parents, advice about Christmas. We got that part on video. He must have spent a solid 5 minutes with us and Sofia doesn't even talk back! I can't imagine the time he takes with the children who can interact!
It was a lovely time and we are so glad we went!! (Did I mention it was all FREE?) This is the best picture we got. They all came out blurry for some reason =( but we have the video too so that's good.