When I found out it was over $20 to take Lila to see Santa (with extra packages up to $50, naturally), I told Brian this was just one of those silly traditions we could skip. He, like a good dad, convinced me this was a milestone we did not want to be cheap about. We decided to wait until Christmas Eve Eve, when my whole family would be doing their Christmas day, since we will be spending the weekend with Brian's family this year. So in the afternoon, we packed everybody up and headed out to the mall. There was a very long line but we thought, "It only only takes a couple seconds to see Santa for each kid...how bad could it be?"
We waited. And waited. And waited. When we got a little closer, we found out that there was only 1 picture taking/printing/editing station. So after the picture guy took each child's picture, the parents had to go to his station, help him edit it, pick out their package and wait for the picture to print. Clearly they had not thought this process through. Basically, Santa was doing a lot of sitting around chatting it up with his elves. Side note: what happened to the cute college girl elves?? This Santa had Old Fat Guy, Creepy Middle Aged Picture Taking Man and Old Grumpy Line Lady.
And finally, the end was in sight! We were so excited! Only five children to go before Lila's turn! We started adjusting bows, checking for diapers (because who wants to be the kid that pooped on Santa?) and getting the camera ready for our illegal behind the rope photo shoot.
And then, the ridiculous happened. Santa went on break. With a line all the way back through the food court, he closed up shop for his dinner hour. You heard me correct, HOUR. Call me a crazy mom, but don't you think they would have some back up Santas happening 2 days before Christmas? Can't he "go to the restroom" and Santa Jr. come out 5 minutes later?
Luckily all the parents were good sports and tried to not think about the mountains of wrapping, refrigerator of cooking and baking supplies, table full of Christmas crafts and big bottles of wine on the counter. We all set up picnics in Santa's line and ate some yummy yummy mall food court food. For an HOUR.
Finally Santa sauntered on back, full of snickerdoodles and milk, ready for some noticeably grumpier children. And that moment when Lila sat on Santa's lap and smiled like a pro, it was all worth it. And bonus, this Santa's Corner offered high res CD's! Thank you Santa for your help for us bloggers and our mutual hatred for scanned photos. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Here comes Santa Claus,
Here comes Santa Claus,
Right down Santa Claus Lane,
Vixen and Blitzen and all his reindeer
Pullin' on the reins.
Bells are ringin', children singin',
All is merry and bright.
So hang your stockings and say your prayers,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.