Tree Lighting Ceremony

Last week Friday, Fort Bliss had their annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Freedom Crossings Mall on base.  Since this is our first year here, we had no idea what to expect!  There is a huge tree outside next to the movie theater that was fully decorated and ready to be lit.  We got there about an hour early and headed to Starbucks to kill some time.
Gabe was not too happy about hanging out in Starbucks.  He kept a close eye out the window, afraid that we’d miss the lighting, despite telling him we had plenty of time.  Calla was happy to be wrapped up and snuggled herself to sleep.  Zander was perfectly content, as long as he could run around and get into everything.  Since we were there at dinner time, Matt decided to let them have dessert and Gabe perked up when he saw the vanilla milk and double chocolate brownie.
Here are the pictures from the ceremony.  Click on the picture to make it bigger.  The 1-AD band were set up in front of the tree to provide entertainment before the lighting.  Zander danced along.  As it got close to 8:00, we all counted down and the street lights turned off and the tree turned on.  The tree lights were set to music and changed color and had stars that flashed along with the beat of the Christmas music.  They played three or four songs in a row and it was great fun for the boys.

Santa made a surprise appearance and sat with children for pictures for a couple hours.  Unfortunately for the boys, as we reached the end of the line, Santa had to leave and we missed out.  He will be making return visits as it gets closer to Christmas and we plan on seeing him then.
All in all, it was a great night.  
The boys had fun and we spent great family time together.
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