Even though we tell our kids that “Santa is watching” and that “Santa knows everything,” having it actually come to life is a whole ‘nother story. After school on Friday, I promised the kids I would take them to visit Santa. The real Santa. With the exception of one year (2008, and that still breaks my heart), we have visited this particular Santa every year since we discovered him. I had to go back and check, but that makes this year the fifth year. Nick knows this Santa is the real deal. The other ones we encounter … at the mall, the pet store and every other random place … are just his helpers. This one is not.
So you can imagine Nick’s shock when, on Friday, as we walked into Santa’s little house, and he was greeted by name. “Hellooooo Nick, how are you doing today?” came his deep booming voice. Nick had barely entered the doorway and stood, still, speechless. He looked at me. I shrugged. Santa knew his name. I had absolutely nothing to do with it. All through the kids’ visit that afternoon, I studied Santa’s face. The same man that has been there every other year. I don’t recognize him. He’s quite a bit older, and most people we know in town are around my age. I don’t know where he knows Nick from, but I assure you, it got Nick thinking. Heck, I’m just glad Santa didn’t know MY name! I didn’t get a candy cane. It seems I need to work on my behavior.
Last year, on no less than three separate attempts, Madeline was in tears every time she came within close proximity to Santa. This year, we made progress. She wouldn’t get near him unless I served as a buffer, but there were no tears. I consider that a small victory, folks. She only asked Santa for one thing. A unicorn pillow pet “because I collect them.” It was utterly adorable, and she is going to be thrilled once she sees that a certain someone has taken care of her small request.
On Sunday afternoon, we were back visiting Santa. Apparently, one of Nick’s friends had gotten the word that he visited Santa, the real Santa, and that he was greeted by name, so there was a plea to go back so she could put in her own request. It was an important stop, because for Nick’s friend, she’s wavering in her disbelief of the big guy. And if you know me and my kids, we’re believers. Big time. Rainbows. Magic. Santa Claus.
We believe. No matter the age or the day on the calendar, I think we should all believe in a little magic.
Santa Visit 2005 – oh my gosh, that baby face!
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