We took full advantage of the magical spark kids bring to holiday season and did our best to ignite our girl's excitement. We tried out all sorts of new things this year to see if we wanted to keep them around for future family traditions. One such adventure was a trip to the Riverwoods in Provo to see the pretty Christmas lights, the big guy himself, and take a free ride around the parking lot on a horse-drawn jingle bell carriage.
Sounds fun, right? Guys. Here's the truth about that night: we hyped it up to outrageous heights and dragged a stubborn two-year-old around outside in the sub-zero temperatures. We put her mittens back on her "coldy hands" dozens of times (duh. stop taking them off if it makes your fingers cold), shied away from Santa after waiting in line for 15 minutes to talk to him, then got disappointed when he didn't give us a lollipop like Santa does when he's at the mall. We took turns trying to warm up an independent and resistant toddler while still trying to maintain some semblance of dignity in public, listened while she cried and pitched fits until the first horse carriage arrived 10 minutes late, then sat silently the whole ride long. It was exhausting for all parties involved.
Kirk and I both asked ourselves silently and out loud, "Was this hassle even worth it? What did we accomplish from this fiasco?"
And then the payoff arrived. As soon as we got home and could feel our toes again, our thawing Pepsicle couldn't stop talking about that evening...for days! In fact, she still loves gabbing about Santa and the lights, and riding the horsies, which liked to jump ("like this!" she says as she jumps as high as she can). Her favorite video to replay on my phone is the one with the jingle bell carriage pulling up to us with its merry cacophony. And, we discovered she already knew the word "nutcracker." Who would have guessed? It certainly didn't come from us! (We have since found out it came from watching the Barbie version of The Nutcracker. Nice. As long as Barbie continues to teach 2-yr-old girls 3-syllable words, I guess her eventually negative affects on body-image can be overlooked.)
But, that's not the point of this post. The point is that we thought the whole evening was a huge waste of time, despite our efforts to stay chipper and help one another stay happy through the frigid winds. We thought it was a bust. But it wasn't, and it ended up being one of the most memorable nights for our little family. All Pepper can remember are the good parts. She obviously doesn't remember that she cried pretty much the whole time we were there. So, I've been working on forgetting that part too and focusing on just remembering the great parts instead. Become like a little child, etc, etc, and all that.
So...maybe we'll try again next Christmas? We'll just have to see when we get there, I guess.