My friend Tara organized a Christmas outing to an old Victorian home a couple of towns away from ours. I was hesitant. Besides feeling crappy (I know, yawn), we all know Annie hasn’t been wild about Santa who was going to be at the house with Mrs. Claus. Plus, old Victorian house. It was, at best, going to be haunted, but at worst was going to be full of breakable historical stuff that emits a “touch me!” sound wave that only children can hear. But then Annie heard me talking about it to Mike and she said, “Mama? Will my friends be there? Can I see my friends, pleeeeeease?”

So I gave in. And (yes Tara) it was fun. Even though I was stressed the entire time that Annie was going to break something.

The kids were pretty good waiting in the line to see Santa and the Mrs.

looking for Santa

Brayden, Molly, Georgie, Meghan, Annie, Reilly

The older girls (the ones that are Maddie’s age) kill me with the way they fawn over Annie. It’s so sweet and Annie just melts.

"oh my little Annabel"

Annie, Meghan, Reilly

Once we were inside the house I was on HOLY CRAP DON’T TOUCH THAT alert, which I think amused and relieved the docents in charge of keeping everything moving. I wanted to barf the whole time we were in the house, but it wasn’t because of my HG. No, it was because there were jars filled with candles all over the place. GLASS AND FIRE. Awesome combo. To be fair, the kids are all very good but I am super-cautious when it comes to historical landmarks. Call me old-fashioned.

Anyway, they were all great in front of the tree:

in front of the tree
Don’t! Touch! The! Ornaments!

Then it was time to meet Santa…and everyone under the age of three was like, “oh, hell no.”

most of the kids with Santa
Other than the two-month-old, who couldn’t get away.

After Santa there were cookies and punch. Red punch. RED. PUNCH. One of the nice volunteers handed a glass to Annie and I was like, “ohhhh, no, let’s keep this pretty historical kitchen nice and clean!” And grabbed the glass from her. And then I spilled some, right on my feet. Sigh. Can’t take me anywhere.

Once we were out of the pretty historical house, we went over to a big rec-room-barn-thing, where there were some handmade wooden toys that the kids could play with:

playing with the handmade wooden toys

There was also a giant snowman:


And some large fake horses:


There was also a station for ornament making, where Annie made the first of what I hope will be many handmade ornaments:

Annie's first handmade ornament

The best part was seeing Annie have so much fun with her friends. They are almost all older than her, but they are so patient and treat her like she’s their age. Annie was hugging them constantly, and was just so happy to be around them, playing and creating and squealing. It’s great to finally have her at the age where she can play and interact and she doesn’t need me to help her. Other than, you know, keeping her from breaking old Victorian heirlooms.