I’ve never felt the desire to get that classic shot of Ellie sitting on Santa’s lap every year. You know the photo. The one where Ellie would be in her fancy holiday dress, bows in hair, and I’d be hoping for that adorable perfect moment when she’s smiling in wonderment but most likely be shrieking in terror. Yes, that photo. I’m not against it, it’s just never been my thing. Aya never had this tradition as a child, and I really don’t remember liking it too much either. I know I went a few times, but the experience wasn’t lasting enough to remember it too clearly. So it wasn’t something important for me to do it with Ellie.
However, I did take her to see Santa for her first Christmas when she was 11 months old (I only took her because we were already there, there was a short line, and I wasn’t ready to go home yet), but she didn’t care for it so much. “Who is this guy!? Get me off of his lap!”
Last year, I didn’t even bother. But this year, she knows who Santa is and kind of understands what he does. When she sees a picture of Santa she says in excitement, “Santa san!” (She is half Japanese).
And when I asked her what she wanted for Christmas she said, “I want a blue present. No, a green present… No no! A pink present!”
Since she seemed to be more excited about everything, I was definitely open to taking her to see Santa. It was just a matter of finding time. With Aya back to work, juggling two kid’s schedules hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park for me. But after Ellie skipped her nap three days in a row and all of us feeling like we were on house arrest, I decided to give myself a break and Ellie a treat and take her to go see Santa.
Our destination was the Henry Ford Museum. I really like that the Santa display doesn’t involve promoting a DVD release of a movie or forcing you to pay for overpriced pictures. I can take my own pictures with my own camera and plus, he’s just a great Santa.
I’m not sure what part about taking an un-napped toddler to see Santa I thought was a good idea, but I did it anyway. And off course, Ellie passed out in the car within minutes on the way there. Would she wake up in a good mood excited to see Santa? Or would I be poking the bear? Would Santa be mad at me for bringing this kid to see him?
But to my surprise, everything went perfectly. I couldn’t have planned it better! When Ellie saw Santa she froze in excitement. She offered him her stickers (she’s usually very protective of her stickers) and walked towards him looking back at me with a look that said, “OMG, this is soooo cool!”
He picked her up, put her on his lap and said, “HO HO HO.”
She looked at us with her hand over her mouth covering her silent giggles. You could just hear her internal “Eeeek! He said it! That was awesome!”
When he asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she just said, “Pink!”
“I think I can arrange something special for you,” he said.
And after he explained that she needed to brush her teeth and pick up her toys to show Chloe how things are done, she agreed. (She’s been great brushing her teeth since, too!)
Then he held Chloe and they posed for a few photos. Ellie got a coloring book and crayons which she cherished (at least for the rest of the day). “Santa gave me this!? Santa buy this? For me!?”
Okay, I get it. I’m sold. I totally see why parents make this a big deal every year. As long as Ellie and Chloe love it, I’ll keep doing it.
And a “pink present,” who can argue with that?
What is it that you want for Christmas?
Looking around, I think I already have everything I need right in front of me.
Except maybe some new slippers…
or a new kitchen mixer…
or one of those fancy coffee machines…