Christmas with a close to two is definitely different than with a close to one. Last year Will was completely oblivious to the holiday happenings and was completely overwhelmed by the gift opening process. This year, Will is super aware of all the decorations and lights, although the concept is definitely not grasped. His excitement over the lights or the blow up figures (if you haven't seen the video of him freaking out you should check it out on our Facebook page) gets us a lot more excited as well.
Our decorations this year once again include our tree up on a table behind a baby gate so little hands and little paws don't destroy it (although I did manage to shatter one of our glass ornaments). It's not fancy or really blog post worthy with our paint samples on the wall and our garland not fully lit, but I really like how cozy our living room feels right now. We also have a pretty big project going on to make it even more cozy really soon so this is probably the one and only shot of our living room decorations this year.
Instead of our decorations, I thought I'd share with you the amazing decorations at the zoo near us. We recently got a pass and have been spending a lot of time visiting the animals. Every year they do a special Christmas zoo experience for a few nights close to Christmas and this past Friday we headed over to spend the evening in a "winter" wonderland.
We started out in the Frozen Forest. The outside was decked out head to toe with blue lights and white christmas trees.
Inside it was all white. The figurines, the trees, the ornaments, everything. It was spectacular.
Next up: Reindeer. I thought we might be able to get a bit closer than we were able to but it was still cool to see them and Will liked watching them for awhile.
While the lights and the attractions were a big hit, the carousel holds a special place in Will's heart. We normally go on it at least once on a regular visit, but we hit it up three times. The lights and music and darkness made it feel extra special.
Will will pick out which animal he wants to ride and he always seems to pick a different one. This night he wanted to ride the gorilla, the panda and the zebra. He also recently started nodding "yes" and every time we came around to where Nate was standing on the outside I would ask him if he saw daddy and he would give this huge nod. It was hilarious.
Another favorite was the train. It doesn't go far but I'm sure to a toddler it's awesome.
We spent the rest of the time walking around visiting the animals and oohing and ahhing at the light displays.
Will even got to see "snow"!
Despite an epic afternoon nap, someone got pretty tuckered after a couple of hours but we had to make one last stop to pay a visit to Santa.
Will has actually seen Santa three times this year. First one did not go well. Second time Santa found him on a golf cart at the mall and Will cautiously took a coin from him (I realize this sounds uber creepy as I'm writing this but it was a mall promotion to get people to come see Santa and pay for pictures so it wasn't that weird).
These previous experiences seemed to make this visit with Santa less scary. Despite being tired, there were no freak outs or tears and Santa even got a high five!
This was a great way to get into the Christmas spirit and hopefully our plan to spread out gift opening this year will keep things exciting but not overwhelming!
What do you do to get into the holiday spirit?