We finally did one Christmas thing, visit Santa. In 2008 it took two visits, and a convenient 30 minute technical difficulty for SS to sit on Santa's lap. Last year SS was not freaked out by Santa, but was still timid. This year the magic of preschool made the event easy breezy. Santa is going to visit SS's school tomorrow and they have apparently been preparing the kids. On the drive home from school I reminded SS that we would be visiting Santa when Baba came home from work. SS squealed with delight, then informed me that "Santa brings LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF GIFTS." Her face and staccato voice were funny as heck. If becoming a greedy, materialistic child, totally missing the meaning of Christmas helps with a stress free picture session we are all for prostituting our beliefs.
The line for Santa was not long, and we quickly noticed that the first person in line was holding a pug. The woman did not appear to have a child, but the snot nosed rugrat could have been playing nearby, When it was her turn we were amused to see that the dog would be the one in the picture. I walked around just in time to see Santa less than enthusiastically hold the animal. P could not believe it or drop it, the snark was fast and furious. I am ashamed to admit I joined him. We did not know that dogs were even allowed at the mall. That is when we noticed that on Wednesdays from 5-8 PM is pet night with Santa. They did not have this on previous years, guess with the economy sucking so bad they wanted to increase revenue. Since it is open to pets, wouldn't it be funny if someone brought a boa? Just saying.
SS waited patiently for her turn, and before we could reassure her that it was OK to sit on a stranger's lap just this time she ran to Santa, gave him her best smile while he scooped her up, and gave him a big hug. Another reason I hate the Santa myth, for kids with attachment issues is plain dangerous. Kids are not supposed to be seating on stranger's laps. Anyway, instead of displaying one for her million dollar smiles, SS began with a pirate smile, complete with closed eye. That was followed by various Buzz Lightyear poses, and I was about to give up when P coaxed an acceptable smile from her. As we were waiting for the pictures to be printed we were amused by the lady behind us pulling on her dog's leash to get him close to Santa. The dog put up a fight and she resorted to dragging him by the leash and plopping him on her lap. Come to think of it, other than the leash it is the same thing we do with our kids.
SS quickly chomped on her candy cane after initially stating it was for JJ. I have never seen a child more excited about candy. After the picture we went to Macy's so SS could write her letter to Santa and mail it in their special mailbox. i am sure the desk and mailbox are still sticky from SS's candy coated hands.
To get to the car we had to walk by Santa again, and there was creepy guy still sitting on the same spot, right across from Santa. Our mall is a designated cooling off area during our brutal summers and has couches and comfortable chairs available. By the time SS had her picture taken we had been there over thirty minutes. If creepy guy had been waiting for a child or grandchild they should have been done by then. By the time we were done at Macy's we had been at the mall for more than an hour. There is something wrong about a lone guy sitting across from Santa. I like kids too, but would be bored of watching after a few minutes. Of course he could have been Mr. Claus' life partner, but we seriously doubt that. The mall should just relocate the couches when the Easter bunny and Santa are there. Creepy.