On Saturday I took the kiddos to Miles City to meet Santa Claus. By sheer luck the Children's ChristmasShop was going on at the High School. My Sister used to take my niece and nephew and I remember them gifting the most random and delighful things. Fishing lure earrings and an opera cassette tape. So much fun opening a complete surprise. I was rusty with how it all works and what amount of money they needed for shopping.
The rules are kiddos aged 4-10 or 4-12? I can't remember at the moment. We are rule breakers and I sent Bear who won't turn 4 until March. No adults are allowed. Your child goes with a volunteer, who I would guess were high school aged, and they are supposed to have a list and their money. I did not send my children with lists, my goal was for them to do their Sibling Secret Santa. Also $5 is more than needed, $1 per person on the list I would guess is about right based on the change and presents they returned with. There must be a table that wraps and labels the items for the kids.
Bug drew Meekers, Big D drew Bug, Bear drew Gracers, Meekers drew Big D, and Gracers drew Bear. Bear and Bug shopped for Meekers, so a few tags will be switched. Bear also came back with a present labeled to her from Santa and a gift for me and 3 bags for Meekers. Bug had change and went for a second round to shop for Mom & Dad. Big D had two presents and change. Overall they enjoyed it and the experience of shopping for others. They older kids really wanted to give hints and brag about their finds, within 1 hour of drawing names the Secret part of Secret Santa was out of the bag. I am hoping we can hold out another 3 weeks for some surprises when it comes time to unwrap presents.
The big event was apparently Happy Meals at McDonald's complete with Hello Kitty teacups and Pokemon figurines. As the twins napped on the way up, we grabbed food and ate in the parking lot and snuck in a half hour early to see Santa. In years past the line has been a couple hours long and with 5 kids it isn't worth it if they are fussy. There was a line but it wasn't too bad and Murdoch's has double carts. Which ranks them pretty high in my book, double carts are a Godsend. Bear curled up in every ones coats in the cart and the twinks were buckled and contained. The boys made friends with a family behind us and played the whole time. I forgot to confiscate toys before it was time to see Santa. Bug handed Santa a list which Mom thinks she had a peek at first, but his lists are an evolving thing. The littles seemed indifferent to Santa as long as I held them, the attempt to sit on his lap was ill fated. As soon as they were in Mom's arms they were happy though. Santa received many hugs from the older 3 and Big D told him what Bear wanted because she was too shy/star struck to speak. I was so excited for the picture. The I noticed Meekers has her hand in my shirt and Bug was more concerned with showing off his pokemon.
In my mind the trip was also going to include Christmas shopping for teachers and grandparents and maybe groceries. However, though the kids were cheerful still, I was was tired and not up for another store. So home we went.