When I was growing up, I went to visit Ms. B every fall. I'd stand up tall while she measured me, as her and my mom discussed the details of a beautiful dress that would soon be mine. She'd sew for several weeks and once my holiday dress was finished, the first place I wore it was to visit Santa.
We went to the same mall each year to see the same Santa Claus. He was really impressive-- beautiful suit, real beard, straight out of Miracle on 34th Street (my favorite Christmas movie!). Now that I'm older, the thing I appreciate the most about him was that he was unbelievably jolly. How many children sat on his lap each day? Yet, he always treated my brother and I as if we were the only children in the world. I remember him asking us what we wanted for Christmas and he listened with such earnest. To me, he was the REAL Santa Claus.
Last year, not long after I found out I was pregnant, I went to Strasburg and found the perfect red & white striped knit Christmas outfit and I imagined taking our baby (no idea if it would be a boy or a girl) for the first holiday picture. And although our baby would be too small to remember, I wanted the experience to be special.
We took Liam for his first visit with Santa yesterday, and it wasn't exactly how I remember it or what I had imagined. Cute background, great suit, real beard--but Santa had no Christmas spirit. He never asked Liam what he wanted, didn't say Merry Christmas... He didn't even say hello to us. Crumpet popped Liam onto his lap, we snapped a few pics and that was it.
It doesn't matter so much this year, because Liam doesn't understand... but we understood. Maybe Santa thought that it wasn't worth the effort with an infant? I was disappointed in him none-the-less. I'm so hopeful that when Liam is older, his future visits with Santa inspire him to believe, just like mine did.
We did end up with a sweet pic of Liam with Santa...it was just too bad his attitude was ho-ho-ho-rrible. However, a photo with no tears equals an overall successful first Christmas pic.
(He'll save those for next year when, I'm sure, Santa will scare the hell out of him.)