One of the things I really wanted to do while we were in Utah for Thanksgiving was go down to the Shops At Riverwoods to see the lights. What I love about this area are the lights are lovely, but to see the lights set against the rugged mountains in the background are just stunning. The Riverwoods are full of wonderful shops, a lot of which are small businesses. This year they set up a number of photo spots so families could come and snap a holiday picture with their backdrops. This is a great place to wander through and explore the shops while also enjoying the festive air.
The other part of coming here in the holidays is to see Santa. When we lived in Utah, I brought Tessa here every year to see Santa and I was so glad that it was the same Santa that I remembered. Of course seeing the man in red is a little different this year. Normally kids make their way into the little cottage where Santa is sitting by his fire and joyously invites kids to come and sit with him and talk to him. This year, Santa had to sit outside the house and kids could come and talk to him from behind a small fence. But Santa still took the time to really talk to each child and give the magic of believing. I appreciated how he talked about the season of giving to others and commented on how this has been a difficult year for everyone but to have hope because things will get better. I always think that it takes a very special person to done the red suit and be that icon of childhood belief and to remind children about hope and the giving spirit. And while some parents may have qualms about their children believing in Santa, I feel that it is an important part of childhood that teaches them to believe, not only in Santa, but in hope and miracles and innocence. Children need that ability to believe because it makes them see the light even when surrounded by darkness. I appreciated the gentle reminder of that that this Santa gave and I was so glad that we could go and see him.