There’s nothing like waiting patiently all year to have the annual “Trip to see Santa” photo. Now that my daughter (now 2.5) is old enough, I am trying to teach what Christmas is – including the “real” story of Christmas. Every time she sees lights she screams “Christmas!” When she sees Christmas trees, whether it’s a cookie cutter, book or on TV, she exclaims “Christmas!”
So one night while my husband had to work late, I came up with a great idea to go to the mall and introduce her to Santa. We went to Somerset Mall in Troy and I couldn’t wait to see the all the decorations. Every winter, the mall is transformed into this beautiful mystical space of floating fairies and lights and colors.
This will be her 3rd Christmas. The first Christmas, I didn’t want to wait in line with a 6 month old for the photo, so I took one “in front of” Santa’s house. For her 2nd Christmas, we saw a private Santa at our neighborhood clubhouse and she was… cautious. But for this year, she KNEW who Santa was and wanted to meet him.
“What does Santa say?” – HO HO HO!!!
Of course I didn’t plan ahead. The kids were still in their sweat suits from “school”. I didn’t want to rush home and find matching outfits (Yes – my kids will be dressed “similar” on holidays. They will hate me later).
My son, now almost 7 months, is happy when a fish looks at him so I had no concern when he met Santa.
It was HER I was afraid of.
At first, she was SOOOO excited to go see Santa’s house. Singing Jingle Bells all the way to Somerset Mall. Stopping by every tree we saw throughout the mall to look at the ornaments and lights and take pictures. I knew that she was getting a little scared when we rode down to the Santa Castle… she suddenly did not like the elevator.
I parked Vinny and his stroller near the edge of the castle and carried Alexandra to the front. I picked her up and showed her Santa. He met eye contact with us and started waving to her. She got soooooo excited.
I thought – ok – not so bad. Since there is no line and it’s pretty quiet here, might as well get their pictures taken now while she is in the mood.
I paid the $22 (I remember when Santa was FREE) and the Santa helpers let us into the castle. There were several options for packages – I picked the cheapest package. All the packages came with a $10 coupon towards Shutterfly (YAYAYAYA) and we got (2) 4×6 prints and (1) 5×7 print. The packages range in price from $22 to $50+. Each kid also gets to pick 3 gold coins out of a treasure box and go “shopping” around the mall. I was very grateful for those coins – it saved our night!
SHE FREAKED OUT. NO MOMMY NO MOMMY.
She tried to run off the stage. Poor girl – I traumatized her.
I should have known better since meeting the Easter Bunny this past spring didn’t go so well either.
Meanwhile, Vinny is chilling on Santa’s lap laughing at his beard. I told the Helper Elves taking the pictures, “I don’t care what the shot looks like – just as long as you get them both in the frame”. The Santa – well – he looked nervous to be honest! Awkwardly holding the baby while I am begging and pleading with the 2 year old to sit still for one second!
After that heart wrenching trip to meet Santa, I told her Santa gave her gold coins and she gets to go on a Treasure Hunt. There are 10 different stores that are offering a “prize” if you give them a coin. Since I had two kids I was given 6 coins! We had a blast walking around the mall and getting the prizes. It was a great night for Mommy and Kids to spend together and we were all exhausted when we got home.
Well… What do you think? Definitely one for the Baby Book!