Holiday Fun with the Fam!

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Holiday Traditions :: The Reeds

We all carry memories from our childhood into our adulthood, some of my fondest were those centered around the holidays . Read our post on how we’re creating traditions of our own this holiday season!

When Sean and I moved in together our first Christmas holiday season we began identifying what traditions we wanted to do as a family. Back them it consisted of the two of us pulling out our 6 ft tree in our one bedroom apartment; adding all the holiday dressings [we’d use in the years to come] the last weekend in November then curling up on the couch to watch some of our most nostalgic Christmas movies kicking off the season. In our PJs we’d go round for round each weekend in December on Home Alone, Home Alone Lost in NY, Jingle All the Way, Friday After next (Yep), Elf and of course A Christmas Story. Sean would always recite the most popular lines in each movie just before they’re said, but it never bothered me because I had already anticipated it in my head that he’d do it! In addition to getting our place decked out with holiday trimmings and indulging in holiday cinema classics we would always make it a point to do an activity together to commemorate the joy of the season! Ice Skating was one year and another year we went to the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington, D.C. to explore their Zoo –Light exhibit   – just a few to mention.

Now that Bella is in our lives we have a greater obligation and sense of excitement to make our family traditions as memorable as ever. For the last three Christmases one of our holiday must-do’s is to spend the weekend in NYC with my brother, sister-in-law and nephew/niece and visit the infamous Macys’ @ Herald Square where Santaland is temporarily set up on the 8th floor of the mega department store. Santaland looks exactly how its sounds, its nestled in the middle of the most glorious Winter Wonderland display that will make any child wide-eyed with amazement. Sean, Bellamy, myself; my brothers family and our friends Leah & David who have a 4 year old now, Harrison all wake up at the break of dawn, wrap the babies like Pigs In A Blanket and trek into Manhattan to experience the magic that the city has this time of year. Not to mention the magic [more like an act of God] it takes to get 4 toddlers up before 7am on a weekend and out the door!

Before I continue, lets first talk about the full on concert that you get when Macys’ doors first open for the day! We had a 9:30 appointment with Santa and as we walked through the entrance doors on 34th street every single employee in sight was electric slide formation singing Whitney Houston’s “I wanna Dance with somebody” – they clearly were getting people hyped to spend their money LOL

 Macys’ goes all out with creating scenery filled with so many holiday elements and helps build the excitement for the children as they walk through the Winter Wonderland to see the “Big Guy”. Theres a short tunnel that looks like a car on a train, then a path where Santa’s helpers (Macy Elves) greet you and guide you through faux snow covered hills with penguins, Santa’s toy workshop that have real elves making toys and at the end of the path you are stopped by one of Santas helpers where you tell them you’re ready to see the big guy! Its nothing short of a scene from any Christmas movie.

Heres an exclusive detail, if you’re like my family and appreciate representation and inclusion you’ll get a kick out of this, there are at least 8 Santas on site at Macys Santaland to help flow the massive crowds through, however the children never see more than one to eliminate mass hysteria and uncontrollable sobbing and confusion. There are sillohs/big dividers to keep any group from hearing another’s visit (Genius), however what many folks don’t know is that there’s a BLACK Santa that your family can visit too. You have to request him when you approach the helpers, you simply say youre there to see “Mr. Clause” and you’ll be guided  to the room where the big guy with Melanin is located, forreal! Sounds crazy I know but its important for our children to see this storybook character in a way that’s relevant to them and reflective of their culture. Here are some images of our trip to Santaland this year; it warms my heart that Bellamy gets to share in this experience with her cousins.

Note:  You absolutely must have a reservation prior to heading to the city to see Santa, this exhibit is so popular they don’t even allow walk ups, its nuts! But its so much fun and now our babies are old enough to know this is what we do every year they very much look forward to it.

What are your family holiday traditions? Or share what youd like to do with your family during the holiday season in the future!