Well, I did not manage to escape the shopping mall entirely this week. I forgot that we had yet to take pictures with Santa. We usually pull the kids out of school early one day in early December on a Tuesday or Wednesday so as to miss the line entirely. Only, this year our kids were sick in early December. And then my husband was sick for a week, and then I was down for another week. By the time we were all well enough to venture to the mall, it was, sadly, already December 21.
Given my new disdain for the mall, and my soapbox rants about finding parking in consumer hell, I considered bagging it all together. Our kids have a special night scheduled with a different Santa on Christmas Eve anyhow. Are Santa pictures really that big of a deal?
I had some serious pondering to do. Not only are our Santa pictures a tradition that we like to enjoy each year … comparing how the kids have grown and changed … but the Santa at our mall is the real deal. Real beard. Really bald. Great smile. Totally believable. And the pictures that we get each year are priceless.
So, I steeled my nerves and made a plan. We would get up early, catch the ferry, and race the other shoppers to the Santa line. When we arrived, Santa wasn’t even there yet. But the line to see him was already a mile long. Thankfully, we got there when it did, because it doubled before he even arrived–ten minutes later. But once he did, we moved like clockwork. Both of my kids sat and smiled (a first for my daughter who traditionally screams as if she’s being tortured). Click. And done.
I’m not kidding when I tell you our whole adventure only took three hours. Round trip. That includes two ferry rides, fighting traffic, finding parking at the mall, wrangling two awe-struck children through toy temptation, stopping to eat, and a brief browse for wrapping paper.
And that is–literally–my entire shopping mall experience this Christmas season. I guess I’m pretty proud of myself.