After feeding the girls dinner at home, we packed up and headed there just after 6 pm. My husband planned to meet us there directly from work. While we waited for him, the girls picked up reindeer antlers (a must have freebie for all the kids) and ran into a school friend. We passed Santa at one point and Clare melted in giggles--she was so excited. My husband found us just before the tree lighting. The girls had moved closer to the stage with the other kids and were dancing to All I Want for Christmas Is You, performed by one of the actors from Shirlington's Signature Theatre. Meg was jumping up and down, waving her hands in the air to the music. If only I could bottle that joy and pull it out on the rough days.
As the countdown began, the kids piled on stage with Santa in great excitement. They loudly joined in: 3, 2, 1. The countdown ended, confetti shot out everywhere...but no lights came on. Uh oh. A few seconds ticked by and then the tree lit up. Crisis averted. Everyone was thrilled.
We skipped the horse and carriage rides due to crazy long lines and a fussy Baby Anne. But the girls did get balloons. While I was a little disappointed we didn't do the carriage rides, the girls seemed perfectly happy to just watch the carriages go up and down the streets of Shirlington. It was an unusual sight.
It was such a fun night. I suspect we'll be returning for many years to come.