Christmas Tea with the Snow Fairy Princess

Our Christmas traditions include some from our own childhoods (a miniature kids tree, opening one gift on Christmas Eve) and some we've developed as our own little family (like new pajamas, books, and ornaments the night the big tree goes up).  What I realized this year was that all these traditions were about me and my ideals.  Sure, my kids enjoyed our traditions but memories shouldn't be forcefully manufactured.  I'm not going to give up coordinated holiday pajamas anytime soon but it was time to focus on what truly gives my children joy.  Robert would rather play with LEGOs than do just about anything else in the world, so adding a LEGO advent calendar to the mantle was a simple way to celebrate the season in a way that brought joy to him.

When I found out I was having a girl, I was terrified.  Frankly, I had always envisioned myself as a mother of boys.  I am not a girly girl.  I'd rather buy books than shoes.    I wear as little makeup as I can get away with and still look professional.  Even as a little girl I climbed trees instead of playing with Barbie dolls.  Aside from what I may or may not have in common with a little girl, boys just seemed easier, somehow.  Less susceptible to overwrought emotions and to peer pressure.  But then she came, and I was immediately smitten with her sweet disposition;  my worries about glitter and swirly dresses and mean girls fell away.  I made sure her wardrobe was not dominated by pink (do you have any idea how hard this is?) and eschewed hair bows, but to no end.  My girl is a full blown princess addict.

Instead of continuing to wait for the princess phase to pass like it was some sort of purgatory, I decided to embrace it this Christmas.  Go big or go home, you know?  The Galt House, our home for the first six months in Louisville, hosts a Christmas Tea with the Snow Fairy Princess on most Sunday afternoons in December.  We donned our Sunday best and hit the town.  Although Kate was too shy to approach the Snow Fairy Princess alone, she loved drinking "tea" (apple juice) out of real china and giggling with a bunch of other little girls, gazed in awe at the twinkly lights, clapped when she saw the Peppermint Express, and whispered to Santa that what she really, really wanted was a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  I loved watching her experience the magic of Christmas, even if it did come wrapped in princess packaging.  We stopped to see the beautifully decorated trees in the hotel lobby on the way out, and I bent down to get a closer look at an ornament Kate pointed out to me when she suddenly hugged me, hard.  "I had so much fun here with you, Mommy."  Me too, kid.

Galt House Hotel, 140 N. Fourth Street (Rivue Tower)
December 15 and 22, 2-4 p.m.
$19.99 per person (be warned, with service charge and taxes, it's more like $35 per person)
Best for younger children.  There were a few bored looking 11 year olds in attendance.
Buy tickets here.