This year the special time of year was a bit "specialer". Charlotte's first Christmas was near the eleven-month mark which made Charlotte feel like a participant rather than just an observer. Rather than being a quasi-prop that's just hanging as you open presents, Charlotte was the center of attention throughout the holiday period. The focus of the holiday season was on her reaction to the first time Christmas events. Like visiting Santa. Which went as expected. I believe that Charlotte started crying as soon as we put her in Santa's lap. Meanwhile, Annie knew to strike a perfect pose for the family photo.
In Charlotte's defense, this was Santa Paws, not Clause, so there's still hope that when she meets the official big guy next year that maybe, just maybe, we can get a smile. Even Annie was a bit nervous once Joyce and I left the group shot to take photos of our own. Annie did wind up getting a bunch of treats from Santa Paws. A pet bakery in Manayunk hosts this annual event and I always get a thrill out of seeing Annie pose with Santa Paws. Next year maybe she can teach Charlotte how to remain composed.
Five sets of eyes (me, Joyce, mom, dad, and Pete) were on Charlotte for Christmas morning. She was the center of attention and seemed more interested in playing with her existing toys, shoelaces, and bows than unwrapping presents. After unwrapping I think she liked the sound of the wrapping paper in her fingers then the present that had been revealed.
I expect the pace at which Christmas presents are unwrapped to pick up next year. A good thing we only had a few gifts as we could have been here all day.
I will say that Charlotte seemed to recognize her first gift, a Moana doll. She's taken a liking to the Moana music videos, perhaps because Joyce looks like Moana, and claps along when we play the videos on YouTube.
Here she is opening presents with Joyce and testing out her Maserati power wheel from Lola Asares. The power wheel comes with a remote control so that mom and dad can drive her from behind. We hope to get a lot of miles out of this gift next spring through fall.
After waking up from her morning nap, Charlotte was off to Lola and Papa's house for Phase II of unwrapping Christmas presents. Tito Pete brought Thai specific gifts including a Thai barbie and elephant pants with him from Bangkok.
Bucks Country Gardens had a reindeer exhibit set up in the back of the store. Charlotte seemed unimpressed.
We picked up our first family Christmas tree at the Conshohocken Library. The beauty of picking up a tree here is that you give them the stand, the attach the stand, throw the tree in the back of a truck, deliver the tree to your house, carry the tree inside, and place it on the ground for you (there's a tip involved but still what a relief to not need to deal with all that hassle). All you need to do is cut the wrapping and decorate the tree.
Lola wrapped twenty-five Christmas books so that Charlotte had an advent calendar of books. Some were a bit more age appropriate than others. Charlotte and I enjoyed the Corduroy Bear books, Llama Llama Red Pajama, and other classics.
One of the underrated parts of Charlotte's first Christmas is that we didn't need to worry about hiding the gifts. I put together Charlotte's cozy coupe in advance, in plain sight of her. If only it will be this easy next year, although the cozy coupe's top was a bit of a mess to install - call it a passage through adulthood.
Charlotte even tested out the wheel - a much better helper than Annie.