This guy is important. And popular. So popular that he only takes appointments at some places, keeps VERY limited hours at others and can be pricey. Did I mention pricey?
What happened to the $5 Polaroid photos? The ones that truly captured the moment – whether you were smiling, screaming or dazed and confused. What happened to the casual Santa visit, where you could just walk up to the costumed character in the mall and tell him about your new list or how you’ve turned yourself around and have really been behaving for your mom lately?
I realize that it’s probably not a great job for most (think: germs, crying kids, skeptics). But then I also think about how great it’d be to sit there for a few weeks and witness non-stop joy, happiness, anticipation. If only my clients loved me half as much. You wouldn’t have to pay me much.
So why are we seeing a shortage of Santas? And why do we, as parents, make our kids put on special clothes, fix their hair perfect in an attempt to look perfect, wait in line for hours, only to spend less than five minutes talking with the Big Guy and getting a photo? After six years of this, I’m sad to say I think I’m over it.
Our weekends are packed and honestly, I think the kids would have much more fun doing something in the holiday spirit rather than trying to be patient standing in line. It’s hard enough for me. I can only imagine how hard it is for a 3-year-old and 6-year-old to “behave” without any toys in one spot for an hour.
When my 6-year-old told me he knew “it wasn’t the real Santa”, I had an ah-ha moment. He doesn’t care about the lap visit, the photo as much as I do. He knows Santa is “watching” and will get his list no matter if he sits on the imposter’s lap or not.
So, next year I’m not sure I’ll be stressing over making sure we have the right outfits and trying to squeeze in a visit amongst the plethora of other holiday activities. I think kids are happy just happening upon some random “Santa” at any holiday event. I can always whip out my phone and snap a shot. We don’t need the “perfect” Santa shot to make our Christmas any better.
Do you make a big deal out of your Santa visit?
–Sarah Jo Sautter, Parenting Program Blog Editor and Publisher