Taking the Kids to see Santa
Will you be taking the kids to see Santa Claus this year? I know I will. My son will be about twenty months old this Christmas, which I think is about the right time to start in on an ages-old tradition. That tradition includes a lot of magic, mystery, some elves, some reindeer and a list of Christmas desires, mainly toys and treats. It also includes long lines, grumpy toddlers and therefore grumpy parents! This is not to mention those select kids who decide, after hours of waiting, that they are terrified of Jolly Old Saint Nick and freak out once they finally get to sit on his lap.
I live in New York City, so the ultimate Santa encounter is to head over to Macy's on 34th Street to see the jolly old elf--er, one of his representatives. My son is and will be way too young to get rational about Santa Claus. Older kids will inevitably start asking how it's possible for Santa to be in so many places around the world at the same time to hear what each and every kid wants for Christmas. Even older--and therefore decidedly more sarcastic--kids will ask why Santa would bother to set shop up on something as, uhm, pedestrian, as a mall of all places.
Still, standing in endless lines and answering endless questions about Santa--really, that's a road of lies built on one big lie, no? (But, it's a fun lie.)--is part of the tradition, and part of what makes Christmas the holiday it is. I still look at the pictures my parents have of me as a little kid sitting on Santa's lap. My mom puts it out every year as part of the holiday decorations and it always brings a sense of not only nostalgia but also that seemingly lost magic of childhood wonder back to my heart. So, yeah, I'll be waiting in what should be the longest line EVER to see Santa, and put my kid on his lap, and hope that my son gets whatever his little toddler heart desires for Christmas. I'll be getting what I want--a new set of Christmas memories and a little more of that childhood wonder.