Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

Our first trip to see Santa Claus was two years ago, when Isaac was 10 months old. Lance and I took him to the Westside Pavilion, on a weekday night, early in December. We figured this would ensure a short line. In fact, there was no line. That's right. NO LINE. We paid our $21.95 and sat Isaac on Santa's lap for about 6 shots. He was not afraid at all and smiled gamely through the whole thing.

(Please excuse the flash and blurriness: I have no scanner.)

Last year, we had both kids, but again, took them out to the Westside Pavilion one weekday evening in early December. Again, no line. Isaac would not sit still (of course) but he still smiled. And Vivian didn't cry, which was more than I expected of her. They took about 12 shots before getting one that would work, but there was no pressure, no wait. An unexpectedly pleasant experience.

Last night, we headed out to our favorite Santa again. I was sure Vivian would refuse to get near him, but she surprised us all by walking right up to him and smiling. Isaac was obsessed with the flash this year, and kept looking at it, rather than the camera, but other than that, no problems. No line, no crying, no being pressured into buying 500 photos.


I love our Santa. I also love that he is the same guy every year, on the same ugly purple sofa.

The funny thing about all of this is that he is not a particularly likeable Santa. (Perhaps this explains the no line.) He is actually kind of cranky, not that comfortable around kids (I know), and quite bossy. Not really jolly in any sense. The photos are not especially good, either--off center, full of red eye, etc. I guess I'm just not too concerned about the photo in this case--it's only a record of the experience. A perfect Santa photo would be nice to have, but these sub-par ones seem more real to me.

In any event, he's our Santa and we're keeping him.

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