The kids were super excited last Friday when we told them that we were headed to Salt Lake City for a Christmas adventure. They love Curious George and are fascinated by the fact that he lives in an apartment in the city, so heading downtown for them is like going straight to George's neighborhood. We had one minor mishap when we realized that we had forgotten coats for the kid. It was such a cold day and we had nothing that we could even use to improvise so we took a detour to Wal-Mart where the kids got new coats which they considered a bonus to the day.
Our first stop was The Grand America Hotel to see the Christmas windows. The kids didn't think they remembered having gone last year but as soon as we stepped off of the elevator, Luke got really excited and knew where we were. This year the theme was Christmas Around the World and each window wished us Merry Christmas in their own language. As we stopped to admire each window, it was fun to teach the kids a little about the various countries and their customs. Luke's favorite country was Australia because there were surfboards and Santa was wearing a swimming suit. Ruby was impressed with all of the glitter and anything that looked like a fairy tale scene. I especially loved watching the reactions of other people to my kids - they were so excited and enthusiastic about everything they saw that it was impossible not to smile at their joy and innocence.
The life size gingerbread house is always a favorite!
Luke could see the Christus statute from outside and really wanted to see it up close so we went into the visitor's center to listen to the missionaries' presentation. Ruby kept asking when we were going to hear Jesus talk - she must have remembered the presentation from the temple in St. George. After the missionaries' finished, they did play a recording of Christ's words and Ruby acted as though she had just discovered her best friend again.
As we walked along the main sidewalk outside of the temple walls, we saw a man playing the flute for money. We stopped for a minute and talked to the kids about how he probably felt cold and lonely. I gave them each a dollar to give the man and said they should wish him Merry Christmas. I loved watching their childlike love in action. Luke marched up and put a dollar in the man's case then looked at him and told him Merry Christmas. Ruby followed right behind and then I took my turn to wish him the best. As we walked away Ruby was so excited and said "That made him so happy". I hope they never lose their ability to love and befriend all they see.
It has been several years since I have been to see the lights at Temple Square during the holidays. All of us started the day with high hopes for a magical day and it was really practically perfect.