This year, I have had my share of odd holiday experiences. Let's begin with The Mall Santa.
Awkward Family Photos. Sorry, you'll have to use your imagination, but follow me on our Journey of Santa Fun.
I took the girls to see MS on a Thursday night after dinner. Handsome Hubs had to work that night, so I figured MS would provide instant child entertainment (not to mention it's a holiday necessity), and you can't really beat the weeknight crowd. So the girls decided that they wanted to change out of their school clothes and into their Christmas dresses... I was cool with that, so we dressed and were on our way.
(Tootsie Roll and Curly Jones in their actual Christmas dresses, to help you with your visual)
The mall was crowded, but not horrible, and we ran into a few people we hadn't seen in a while, so that was a pleasant bonus. (It's always nice to run into people you haven't seen in a while when your kids look really cute. It's like... Hi! How are you? I'm doing great. Yes, we are all doing wonderfully, as you can see, in our perfectly matching holiday finery. Of course we always look like this!)
We got to Santa's Workshop in the middle of the mall, and there were maybe four families in front of us. No problem, my kids whiled the time away marveling at the moving animals in the display and playing with the other kids in line. At one point, TR, whose third grade sensibilities are leading her to start questioning whether or not Santa is real, narrowed her eyes in Mall Santa's direction and whispered to me, "I don't think that guy is the real Santa, Mom. Every time a picture is done, he stops smiling."
So we waited, and when there was only one little two year old boy ahead of us, Santa gestured to the photographer and she held up her hand toward the line. With one finger, she beckoned a lady standing with her son on the other side of the picture area (where you pick up your pictures). I thought maybe there was a problem with her picture, but then... then I saw it. A colorful sign that read FAST PASS. The woman sauntered over to Santa, placed her very unwilling child on his lap, and proceeded to bark all sorts of commands at the photographer, her son, and Santa. The woman standing in line in front of me with the little boy turned and said, "Did that just happen?"
When it was our turn, Santa lifted Curly Jones onto his left knee, but would not let Tootsie Roll sit on his lap. The kid is eight, skinny as a rail, and weighs 56 pounds. She's not exactly a tank. (The poor kid will probably never hit the 8 years/80 pounds to get out of a booster seat in the car law here in NJ). So instead, Santa pulled her back toward him, and in the picture, she is leaning very stiffly and awkwardly back, arms at her sides, looking like one of those creepy dolls that are supposed to look human. CJ is looking much the same, very stiff and strange, pulling her hair out to the side. But they're both smiling. Awesome. :)
Santa asked CJ what she wanted for Christmas, and she said (after rehearsing all the way over, "an orange baby doll" - don't ask me why orange), "Trains." Santa was cool with that. Then he asked TR, and she said, "Books. I love to read more than anything." (Woot! That's my girl!) And Santa was happy with that, too... until she smiled at me and added, "And lots of hugs and kisses." Santa gave me a look, then said to her, "Well... I can give you a hug... but.... the kisses will have to come from your family because Santa has a cold." (Cue me trying not to laugh and TR looking embarrassed - clearly she meant from me, not him.)
So the picture was done, it's weird looking, whatever, I don't mind. We were good to go. We went out the other side and stopped at the cashier's table. The pictures packages were crazy, of course - from Package A at $45 with some pictures, a picture cd (with one picture on it?), etc. to Package F for $20 (two 5x7s and a $10 Shutterfly card). They asked you which package you wanted on your way in to expedite the process (clearly not enough for Fast Pass people, but I digress), so my paper already had Package E circled. The 20-ish guy standing at the register took one look at me and said, "Yeah. You look like... an F." I blinked. It took me a minute to process that.... Did he just say I look like I opted for the cheapest package? Now, I didn't, but even if I did ($20! Still!), so what??? Does that make me a bad mom? Trust me, I don't want 85 copies of this particular winner of a photo. Not only that, I was still dressed from work. If I had shown up in sweats, would I have looked like I didn't deserve to enter Santa's Workshop?
I just kind of gave him a strange look and signed the credit card slip and he was all, "Yeah. I hate kids."
No worries, though, folks... I am all about Christmas and was pretty amused at the entire experience. And it gets better... wait till you hear what happened with our Christmas cards!
Oh yeah! Don't forget to enter our Flash Fiction contest! Ends Dec. 15! PRIZES - books and holiday goodies! CLICK FOR DETAILS!