Yes, we did it. We managed to visit Santa Claus without making a major scene. At least not the biggest one at the mall. Similar to our first flying experience, I continue to be amazed at how folks manage to make the most ordinary of endeavors into giant messes. Santa for instance should be a fun, tragedy free Christmas tradition. We had four adults, full bellies, and fresh diapers, so we were as prepared as possible. We also sent troops ahead to ensure that Santa would not be feeding his reindeer just as we pulled our sleigh full of kids to the front of the line. What we could not prepare for was the lack of ‘life skills’ displayed by several parents this year.
THE MALL SANTA IS NOT THE TIME START WORRYING ABOUT HAVING THE BEST PHOTO EVER OF YOUR KID. Yes, it is wonderful if your darling child sits in Santa’s lap, tells him what he/she wants for Christmas, smiles at the jingle bells, says thank you, and then heads for the sugary treats. If this is not what happens for you, it is not okay to give your child a detailed grooming while on Santa’s lap so they can look just right when the camera snaps. It is also not okay to repose your child seven times before you give the photographer the okay to take a shot. And if your child does not like Santa and does not want to be in his lap, please think to yourself, “do I really want to tell my child that they must enjoy sitting in a stranger’s lap?” before insisting that they stop crying. If you must groom, pose, or cajole that’s what all that time waiting in line should be used to complete. When you wait until you are actually in front of Santa it only causes the rest of us parents to fantasize ramming our strollers into your bumper.
Lastly, I must share a thought on attire. Whether you put your kids in their holiday best or let them choose their favorite super hero shirt and comfy pants (what Fletch would choose if left to his own devices.), please keep some gender equality in mind. As the mother of four boys, I was particularly irritated by the giant, taffeta plaid frocked sisters paired with sweatpants and tees clad brothers that appeared in front of us. Just because boys are, perhaps, more likely to smear jelly on their fancy pants seconds after putting them on doesn’t mean they won’t want to look sharp for Santa any less than their female siblings.
P.S. if you’re sick of us this week, don’t worry I will return to my blog slacking soon, I’m just trying to catch up with the holidays before they come back around again.