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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Santa Clause or Torture?

This past weekend, my husband and I took our little girl to the Santa Land display at Macy’s in downtown Minneapolis.  I thought it was neat.  My husband thought it was creepy, at least the singing trees were anyway.  To be fair, he did make a good point.  The melancholy song of the trees seemed oddly out of place and, in fact, yes, even a little creepy.

What happened to good old fashioned Christmas carols, folks?  Instead, you have trees holding carol singing books humming out haunting, wordless tunes better fit for Halloween. 

A little suggestion for next year: Dear Macy’s, you might want to swap the soundtrack for something a little peppier. It is Christmas, after all.

Just sayin’.

Aside from that one little observation, the rest of the display was actually really cool.  I was totally impressed by the creativity and craftsmanship of the display.  Heck, I hadn’t been to the 8th floor of Macy’s since eons ago when I saw the Nutcracker display, so I was particularly excited, so much so that not only do I look like I just rolled out of bed, hopped in the car and went to see it at first light of day, I did, in fact, do just that, as the picture at the end of this post suggests. 

But THEN it was time to see Santa.  My husband looked at the long line snaking back and forth to the magical Santa containing room hidden behind the red velvet curtain and asked, “Should we take Chloe to see Santa?”  

As the caffeine from my morning cup of coffee began to fade, I just sort of shrugged my shoulders and said, “Okay.”  Soooo, into the line we went.  As we approached that “special place,” I could hear and see the screaming kids being dragged in to see the big, jolly guy.  I leaned over to my husband, and offered, “Looks like we’re in a line of parents looking to torture their kids just for a photo with Santa.” 

You see, I find that it’s important to keep a good sense of humor in these situations.

Santa Clause.  Good grief.  

I read stories to my baby girl all the time about the birth of Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas because that’s what’s important to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I think the tradition of Santa bringing gifts is a fun one and one that I grew up with, but it’s just not something of importance to me nor has it occurred to me to tell my little one about yet.  For goodness sakes, we’re working on learning the ABC’s right now, so Santa is definitely not the priority. 

In hindsight, a little Santa101 may proven useful here.

And yet, there we were right along with the rest of the free world with our totally unprepared 2-year old waiting in a long, sweaty line to meet a stranger who definitely deserves to earn a good paycheck for dressing up as Santa Clause and enduring the screams of little ones across the world who feel violated by unsuspecting hugs and teased with offers of gifts that he doesn’t intend to keep.

Realistically, what kid likes being set on a stranger’s lap, that stranger being a huge, old (er…older) dude in a completely foreign looking get-up and THEN is expected to smile for the camera? 

Us parents, we’re just so silly sometimes!

Which brings me to my little girl…

My sweet, bright and happy little girl…well, it went down along these lines…

As my husband carried her into the “top secret chamber” of Santa Clause (it was one of two Santa Clauses in two separate rooms, and we got the one with the kind-hearted smile, btw), she tightened her little grip around her daddy.  My husband then handed her to me, and I in turn went to pass her to Santa.

Or…not so much.  

I’m telling you, gang, those big blue eyes of hers filled up with tears at lightning speed, and she screamed for dear life.  Santa tried to hold her, but she held both arms up to me, sobbing in protest as if I had just totally abandoned her.  I just couldn’t do it.  I swooped her back up into my arms and smiled at the kind Santa Clause and said, “It’s just not worth her getting this upset.  We’ll skip it.  Thank you for your time.”

Now, I know the token photo of the kids crying on Santa’s lap is somewhat of a rite of passage, but my baby girl was terrified and so upset that I just didn’t want that kind of memory.  Christmas time is about joy, afterall, and this definitely was not a joyful moment.

As I grabbed my coat to leave, the photographer asked if we would like to take a family photo with Santa and deciding that it might be just the thing to salvage the experience for our daughter, we did just that.  We took a photo with Santa as a family.  Granted, my husband and I are the only ones smiling, but at least Chloe was okay in the safety of her of her daddy’s arms.  Maybe she'll get a kick out of it a few years down the road.

Well, there you have it.


1 comment:

  1. Wow. 2 and has no idea who Santa is? How is that possible. I love Christmas and all the Santa goodness. Nothing better than seeing your kid light up when Santa brings her gifts. That is the best part of Christmas!


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