{winter fun} santaland 2014

This is another thing we did last year with Nonos, visit Macy's Santaland. This time the line was longer but both boys were so good waiting. Really, I was getting a little impatient myself and a little worried they may start acting up. But no, they both behaved so good and were so patient. We were very proud of them. I guess they really wanted to see Santa.
G remembered the place, as I mentioned it here. And he loved the big train at front and all the beautiful village inside. While we were waiting I explained to G we would be seeing "Papa Noel" shortly and that he could remind him in person what he wanted for Christmas. He turned to me and asked "Mama, Papa Noel habla español o ingles?" {"Mama, does Santa speak Spanish or English"}. I just can't with this little one. He's the sweetest! 
{I have to say the elves did a good job distracting people and interacting with the kids so the wait didn't seem too long}
 {G loved the train. He remembered it from last year}
When it was our turn to see Santa, G got a bit shy and I think a little scared. But we still managed to get some pics. We took our own pictures but I guess Santa was a little tired because he was not really smiling in most of the photos. We tried to see the picture they took on our way out thinking it may have came out better but the lines were crazy, lots of people, all trying to preview their pic. So we just left. After reviewing our photos in more detail at home we realized we got a nice pic of the four of us with a semi-smiling Santa so that would have to be enough.
{G thought he was allowed to pick a toy from the pile. Poor thing, his face was so sad when I told him that was only for display and was part of Santaland}
{of course G spotted Thomas on one of the windows outside}
We enjoyed the Holiday window displays on 34th street and 6th Avenue. And then took a short walk to Bryant Park to check out the Holiday Market. The kids rode the carrousel {L is too old for it now but was kind of forced by his little brother since G wouldn't go if L wasn't with him}.
{this kid of mine needs a haircut!}
{we finally tried the famous Wafels & Dinges...}
 {two words: soooo good!}
It was a beautiful day to stroll around the city. Although a bit crowded {but that's always expected in NYC} the ambiance was festive and the weather was perfect to be outside. Really, I think nothing beats Christmas in New York City. We look forward to making this outing a family tradition.
We all had a good time. Until, on our way back to the car, G saw a plastic airplane in one of those NYC souvenir stores and had a big meltdown because we didn't buy it for him. We were very tempted to buy it but that's one of the things in his Christmas list so we want "Santa" to bring it for him. And besides there was really no reason to buy him a toy. It was tough but a lesson. One of many to come.


{winter fun} nybg holiday train show...again

Last year my parents where in town for Thanksgiving weekend so we did a lot of fun Christmas-related activities together. This year we wanted to keep the tradition and repeated a couple of those activities with the boys. It was a great way to kick off the Christmas Season and prepare for our Christmas countdown.

The NYBG Holiday Train show was our first stop. G is still obsessed with trains and since he's a year older we thought he'd enjoy it even more this time around. He was really excited on our way there. Unfortunately after a long wait in line, by the time we got inside he started losing interest. He didn't care much for the trains until he spotted Percy and was into it for a while. He also liked the Metro North train at the end of the exhibit. L enjoyed admiring all the New York landmarks replicas. Their favorite part this year was the decorated trees. We still had a good time and I can see this being a family tradition for years to come.
{getting a nice picture of these two, looking both at the camera, is getting harder and harder. They just like to goof around}
{G recognized the Statue of Liberty}
{this time L and I got into the gift shop just to browse around. He told me he wanted to get something for his little brother and chose a little train ornament. He's such a good brother}


{free printable} letter to santa...in spanish

One of our Christmas countdown activities since we started this tradition some years ago has been writing a letter to Santa. Last year G was happy with just scribbling on a white piece of paper while L wrote a letter for both of them. This year we were going to do the same thing until it occurred to me G could now "write" his own letter. He's in preschool, learning letters and just started writing his name on his own.

Obviously he could not write a whole letter so I looked for some sort of fill-in letter template. I found some cute Letter to Santa printables in English but not so many options in Spanish. So I created my own.
I included some "check the box" options, "fill-in" for age and name and "cut and paste" for the Christmas list. At first I thought he could draw his Christmas list but he is just drawing stick figures so drawing a plane or train {what he has mentioned he wants for Christmas} was going to be a little tricky for him. I thought the best option was to print some images of a few possible Christmas gifts so he could cut and paste them on the letter {he loves cutting}. At the end I cut the pictures but he pasted them and even wrote his name at the bottom. 
{I created a different version of the letter for L with space for him to write}
{I told him to write small letters but he didn't want to. He wanted "grande mama" {"big mama"} 
so of course he ran out of space. But that didn't stop him. He continued backwards}

I loved this activity because both boys were engaged on it. G was really excited about "writing" his own letter. When they finished I told them I was going to put their letters in an envelope to mail them but G said, "No! mama". He grabbed his letter and went to the living room. We asked him what he was doing and he said: "Mama voy a poner en chimenea para Papa Noel" {"I'm going to put it in the fireplace for Santa"}. This little guy is the sweetest!
If you'd like to try this activity with your preschooler,  it's not too late! Click the link below to download the template. Hope you enjoy it!