December 08, 2017

Christmas Photos with Santa

Jerry loves Christmas. Like, he REALLY loves Christmas. He's basically Clark Griswold. The music, the movies, the decorations, the shopping, the baking, etc. His favorite time of year.

And I am basically the opposite. I'm the Grinch. I think Christmas is stressful, expensive, materialistic, and commercialized. 

This year, I decided I'm going to embrace all the Christmas stuff that Jerry gets so excited about. On Wednesday, I told him that I was going to take him on a surprise date. Or maybe "outing" would be a better word, because the kids came too. They knew what we were doing, but Jerry did not. 

We drove a very long way (with construction traffic, it took an hour and 20 minutes!) to get to Somerset Collection (a high-end mall). And we got our pictures taken with Santa!

(The kids have never believed in Santa so this was their first time getting pictures with him. The idea of "Santa" makes me sad--I've just never understood how you explain to your kids why Santa gives some kids a ton of gifts, while others don't get any.)

We had driven so far to this particular mall because they have a very elaborate Christmas setup. And their prices were actually cheaper than any other mall I looked at! It was $30 for six poses, and the photos are given to you on a flash drive at the end of the session (with a release to print or use the pics however you'd like). 

The session was super fun! Santa and the photographer (and the elves) were awesome ;)

When we picked up the flash drive, we were given 6 tokens to "spend" in the mall. There was a list of seven stores, and you could go into those stores, hand them a token and they'd give you a little gift. So cool! I used one at Godiva (of course! Haha, they gave me a full-size Godiva bar). The kids and Jerry got small Lego sets at the Lego store. And the kids got chocolate from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. They had more stores, but we were into chocolate and Legos, apparently!

The kids had so much fun that they already asked if we could go again next year. And I think the photos made me a little less Grinchier this year ;)

The plan after that was to go out to dinner in Downtown Wyandotte, where the Christmas decorations are really pretty. Then go home and watch Christmas Vacation with eggnog and cookies. (I was clearly trying to make this as sickeningly Christmasy as possible, hahaha). The photos and the drive took so much time that we weren't able to do the movie, so we did that last night instead. It was great! Hanging out with the kids gets more and more fun each year, as they get older.

My sister is going to be running Ragnar Chicago May 18-19. She is putting together a team, and has a few spots to fill; and while I'm not going to be doing it, she asked me if I would throw the idea on my blog and see if any of YOU would like to do it. My sister is super fun and outgoing, and I can guarantee you'd have a great time!

If you're interested, send me an email telling Jeanie a little about yourself--why you want to run a Ragnar, have you run one before, what's your average running pace, etc. Her team isn't going to be competitive, so you don't need to be running six-minute miles, but they need to make sure that they meet the time cutoff, which is why they need to know your pace.

I'm not making any decisions, but I'll pass the emails along to Jeanie, and she will get in touch with you if she thinks you'll work out for their team. They're just looking for someone fun who wants to have a good time and meet new friends!

Jeanie has written a guest post on my blog, so if you want to read it to get to "know" her a little, you can find it here.

You can send the email to: Katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com.


  1. Your family's photos with Santa were totally worth every dollar paid for them! Your boys are turning into such handsome young men! Thank you for sharing a "slice" of Jerry and your's Christmas cheer with all of us!!!

  2. 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱 No way!! You kids are so big!! They look like teenagers! If they aren’t already. I started reading your blog back in 2012 when I didn’t have kids yet. I have a 3 year old and a 1.5 year old now. I don’t really read blogs anymore but I always come back to yours to see how you are, what you’ve been up to like we’re really friends lol I’ve always really related to you. When you posted about being bipolar it was eye opening. It was like reading about myself. I haven’t gone to the doc yet because I haven’t found one. I remember onece you commented on mu blog about books I was reading about lol back in like 2013. Anyways, I just wanted to tell you how fond I am of you like we were old friends. Those pictures are great. Yoo look beautiful as always and all your boys are so handsome.

  3. The boys are so big!! They seemed like little tots when I started reading your blog!! These pictures are so adorable and looks like everyone had a great time!! That’s a crazy good deal on these Santa pics, almost makes me want to drive out to Michigan for it! �� but what I would pay in gas would probably cancel everything out lol

  4. I can hardly believe your are "grinch" about anything Katie! You always do such fun things with your family and seem to go out of your way to keep life interesting for all of you. I wish I had been as creative when my kids were young. I love your Santa pics! Merry Christmas to all of you!!!

  5. What a fun family outing. Those pictures are great!

  6. I'd love to see (likely another post as you've touched on this before) another post about how you've helped your kids develop healthy eating habits (if they and you don't mind it being discussed on your blog). My son is 3 and just yesterday I finished off 3/4 of the birthday cake my husband and he made for me. I have a sugar addiction. I'm doing weight watchers and am at goal, but have a terrible time with the mental anguish of overeating and indulging and bingeing on sugar. My son is pretty sugar obsessed as well and I want to help him develop a healthy relationship with food and not have to struggle with his weight like I have. I just don't know what to do at this holiday time as well as for Halloween and life in general when we're surrounded non-stop by sweets, treats, and candy. Any comments you have on this topic would be much appreciated!

    1. Hi there Catherine! I am not sure if I wrote about it before, but it sounds familiar. I really don't have any big secrets as to how my kids eat. I have been VERY conscious not to make them feel like they have to eat a particular way. I have always let them eat what they like--and surprisingly, they enjoy a wide variety of foods! I do stress the importance of portion control, but not in an extreme way. Actually, now that I write this comment, I think I probably could write a whole post! Hahaha. Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. Oh gooodness. Your boys are getting so big and so adorbs. What a great surprise for Jerry.

  8. Your boys are so big! And so cute!

    Jerry is so funny how he always has his mouth wide open in every photo (not on this post but in general).

  9. Looks like a super fun family time with Santa! I am like Jerry, I totally embrace Christmas, start listening to Christmas music on Nov. 1, overdecorate, and overspend but this year NO baking WHATSOEVER! I've got to get this regain off! Your boys are sure growing up, and SO HANDSOME!

  10. Just catching-up on blog posts now and love this one! So glad you decided to embrace Jerry's love of the holiday. All the pix are the BOMB (I hope you use one or two for your Christmas cards)! And I love that you and Jerry are wearing matching red Chuck's. Best wishes to you and the boys for a fabulous Christmas! ~ Janet


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