Since this December will go down as the busiest the Ivins family has seen since its beginnings four years ago, I've been feeling a bit depressed about the absence of our usual Christmas festivities.
I've been working more than usual, which has it's perks when it comes to splurging on gifts (which I haven't begun to shop for, by the way) but definitely makes it more difficult to deck the halls.
So on my first night off in five days, I forced my poor family into the frigid night to experience a Candlelight Christmas at This is the Place Heritage Park (the name of which, by the way, drives me insane every time I say it -- think short and snappy people).
Lola was quite terrified of the real reindeer. She screamed and meowed and quacked all at the same time.
We wandered into a slightly creepy "Christmas Town" where we happened upon plastic carolers and a very friendly Father Christmas. It took Lola longer this time around to realize how terrified she was of this guy with the beard -- I think she was distracted by the candy cane bait.
This Santa wouldn't let us leave without sitting on his lap, which was a bit creepy, but then again, you know my thoughts on the whole tradition. Watch for the following photo of Reece in next year's Christmas card.
My poor baby. It was FREEZING. It didn't help that the wind was whipping the snow from the rooftops and directing it straight at our cheeks. But she was such a good sport. She loved the lights and decorations and live, roaming animals.
My personal favorite stop: Santa's workshop, where we tasted coal and added our names to the naughty and nice lists.
Reece left the live nativity actors completely frazzled when he asked them why they didn't get a space heater.
Apparently Mary and Joseph don't take kindly to small talk.
Other highlights: the giant tree at the schoolhouse, printing holiday cards at the old Deseret News office, introducing Lola to toy guns, slingshots and rock lollipops at the candy shop.
It was a lovely, holiday-cheer-inducing night.
We were lucky enough to have Auntie Kelly join us.
We topped it off with a trip to Desert Edge Pub, where Lola likely deafened all the patrons with her squeals.
I really love my little family.
Just thought I'd throw that out there.