Happy Monday! It really is the most wonderful time of the year! This past weekend was definitely one of the most fun and special weekends we have had recently. With a ramen date night at Orenchi Beyond and holiday activities with our Little Miss Lillian, it was the perfect way to celebrate the start of the holiday season.

I have been reflecting a lot on why Christmas is such a special time in the Curran family and why I am excited for the memories we will create with Lillian this year. The start of Christmas always began for my family on that Friday of Christmas break. Since everyone was in school or worked in schools, Christmas break was truly a break from work, responsibilities, getting up early and putting on our uniform. It was also when we would go pick out our family Christmas tree. And yes, when the last day of school was on Friday, December 20th we would get our tree just days before Christmas. And even as we got older we had to wait until everyone was home from college to get the tree. I think the latest we got it was the 23rd one year when I had the last final at USD on Wednesday the 22nd and drove home that night.

The memories I have of our adventures in the Christmas tree lot are still so vivid and perfectly capture the essence of my family. Everyone was still in school uniforms and dirty white Keds that barely survived the first semester and we would all be running around trying to find the best tree. (A lot of people who read this blog ask about Danny and what it was like for him to have four sisters. He was always sort of doing this own but when it came time to Curran family traditions he was all in, especially around the holidays).

All five of us would try and convince our dad to get the tree we had picked out. It is really funny to think about-- we would each try and find the best tree and then give a little sales pitch as to why this tree was the best, "Dad! Dad! This one is full and has a great top for the angel!" "Dad!! This one is really fresh!" But let's be real here, even when Claire was just six years old with a raspy voice she was the one picking out the Christmas tree. I guess she had an eye even back then. 

We would take the tree home, decorate the house with Christmas music blasting (Amy Grant, James Taylor, Michael Buble), the heat blasting and a fire in the fireplace (both which bothered is so funny). It really was so much fun.

So fast forward to 2015 and Jesse and I still don't have our Christmas tree and we just took Lillian's photos with Santa! We were invited to a Christmas party at one of my favorite children's boutique and they said there would be champagne and a professional photographer taking photos with Santa so I thought this is perfect! We don't have to brave the long line at the mall and we will get some great photos!

We went and got our photos taken and Lillian was so darling! She did not cry or anything. But I was a little disappointed with the "quality" of Santa's appearance and the background (hello huge elephant mural). If you know me than you know that if I have a vision in my head for something, especially visual or creative, I will not settle until it looks great. A lot of people find this annoying but it is actually one of the things that Jesse and I have in common-- more on that later. Oh, and since Jesse and I did not do a newborn photoshoot with Lillian or any other professional photos I really wanted her picture with Santa to turn out perfectly.

So, yes of course after the party my gut was saying to try again. So we went to the motherland Stonehenge (or as some people like to call it Stonestown) to get our photo with Santa. And that is the photo above. So Miss Lillian saw two Santas in one day and did not cry at either visit!

Looking forward to some wonderful memories this year! Now we just need to get our tree!


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