These pictures are from the Christmas tree lighting in our town. It was a little tough to tell that the tree had been lit because it was still so bright outside. During the summer, it doesn't get completely dark here until almost 9:30 at night! Not so helpful for putting the girls to bed, but it's really cool to have so much sunlight during the day!
This year was the first time we bought out very own Christmas tree! Trees here in New Zealand aren't the same as what we're used to, but they sure have lots of character! This is our perfectly shaggy Kiwi Christmas tree.
Reese helping decorate...
...to be honest, she was probably taking the ornaments off. By the time we took it down, there were very few decorations around the bottom part of the tree!
A couple days before Christmas, we got the girls all dressed up and let them run around outside. It was a beautifully sunny day, but was very windy (as we're starting to get used to around here...)
In our backyard.
'Look at the candy canes!!'
Yes, we bribed them with treats...
We also visited Santa's Cave this year. It's housed at our local museum, and we're told it has been a Christmas time staple in Palmerston North for over 90 years.
Of course, we went to see Santa. Daly had a great time telling the big guy what she wanted for Christmas.
Reese, on the other hand, was not so sure about this big man with the red suit and scary beard. She completely froze (I guess we're lucky she didn't have a major meltdown...but smiles on Santa's lap were not happening this year!)
On Christmas Eve, right before bed, the girls each got to open one of their gifts. Reese opened her little telephone. She LOVES pretending to talk on the phone, and we loved this throw back toy (which happens to be featured in one of the girls' favorite movies, Toy Story 3).
Daly opened her Mrs. Potato Head (also from the third Toy Story!) She went around asking everyone to 'please open Potato Head's butt!' for the next week...until she finally figured out how to open the storage door herself!
Christmas morning...before the girls woke up. Complete with gifts tucked under the tree, stockings hung, empty milk glass, half eaten cookies, and special letters from Santa.
We had a great Christmas...but we were counting down the days until our upcoming trip to California to see family and friends!!!