Confession: I’m one of those obnoxious people who has already put up Christmas. I did it last Friday. In my defense, Thanksgiving is SO LATE this year, but also I just love the holidays so much and couldn’t wait another minute to start reintroducing Betty to them. Last year she was still too young to care.
This year is definitely different. She LOVES her “kissmist tee” and pointing out her Bubble Guppies, Elmo, and owl ornaments to any parent, cat, or doll that will listen. Christmas movies and music have started to play in our home and we’ve been decorating presents for family members. I have grand plans to take her to Festival of Trees this weekend and get hot chocolate down on 34th Street in the city. Last Saturday we visited an epic annual holiday train garden and she was even more enamored than I could have hoped. I have a feeling we will be there multiple times before they take it down.
The little upscale mall that hosts the train garden is also well known in our area for having a really great Santa. Last year she sat and smiled on Santa’s lap with no problem, but at that point she hadn’t really developed the stranger danger part of her brain. Judging by how my kid is now when other people try to hold her when I’m nearby and her reaction to a toy Santa that my mom presented her with the other day, I expected this year’s photo could be one worthy of sending in to the Ellen Show.
Color me shocked when she wasn’t reduced to a crying mess as soon as she laid eyes on him. He was walking back to his post after a cookies and milk break – or whatever Santas do in their downtime – when we ran into him. He was different than the one they had last year, but I liked him immediately. He seemed really kind and Betty was more curious about him than anything else. I made the snap decision to go for the Santa pics right now because who knows what kind of reaction she would have on any other day. Toddlers like to keep you guessing.
Maybe it was because he had just been on a break or maybe I’m just a holiday nutcase with Christmas on my radar way before most normal people, but there was only one other family waiting for pictures. No line = even better with a toddler. So we waited our turn as the little boy in the family before us lost his mind when his parents tried to put him on Santa’s lap. Betty watched all of this pan out with great interest. Awesome.
Then it was our turn. I pulled out a brush and fixed both our hair just in case I ended up in the photo too. My suggestion to go sit on his lap was immediately met with loud protests and attempts to climb up my leg, and I decided not to push the issue. We were having such a great time together and I didn’t want to ruin it. As hilarious as meltdown Santa photos can be, that’s not how I wanted either of us to remember this day. I asked if she would sit with him if mommy came too and while she still seemed unsure, she didn’t object. I’m glad I fixed my hair and I’m even more glad the photographer caught a big smile!
*Insert typical parent statement here about how I can’t believe how much she has changed in a year!*
My mom suggested that I Photoshop myself out of the picture, but I kind of love that I’m in it. We don’t have all that many pictures together as it is – especially professional ones – and she can look back on it fondly as the year that mommy made sitting with Santa okay. 🙂
QotD: Have you or your kids ever taken a hilarious Santa photo? Am I the only crazy who is all about Christmas this early?