After last years trip to sit on Santa’s lap, a near disaster, I had been carefully orchestrating this years attempt, in an effort to avoid any drama. Stopping to interview the photo takers over a week ago, I drilled them on Santa’s break time, length of lines in relation to time of day and got what a sleuther would call the “low down” on the situation. With my facts collected, we planned to go see Santa on Wednesday after work, before the dinner hour and before school lets out for the holidays, however Devi has had a cold and was all stuffed up with puffy eyes and red nose and we didn’t want anyone mistaking our beautiful angel for Rudolph :) We decided to see what Wednesday would bring.
Wednesday, after work, found me holding my slightly wilted sweet pea as she told me that she did not feel very well. I tested her by reminding her that we had planned to see Santa, but if she was not feeling well, we could go tomorrow. “Oh no, mommy. I’m feeling much better now”, was her reply which was the signal to pull the trigger on our plan.
She and I dashed home, brushed hair, changed clothes and grabbed a snack to eat along the way. Meanwhile daddy drove from work to Santa’s to hold us a spot in line. In route, Devi and I belted out Christmas carols to ensure that she stayed awake because driving in the dark is like a drug to her and with daylight savings time comes winter darkness at about 3pm here. Along the way the excitement grew and with it came a litany of questions for Santa now that Dev is old enough to comprehend this whole Santa business.
1. Where is Misses Claus?
2. Will Rudolph be guiding the sleigh this year?
3. Is our house the first stop?
4. What are the elves doing?
5. Is our chimney big enough for him?
She was determined to ask them all.
Joining daddy second in line, we were all set with cookies for Santa in hand. It appeared that the stage fright she suffered from last year had completely matured into steadfast confidence and determination. With no more than 5 minutes of waiting time, the red velvet rope was drawn back to clear our path to Santa. It was her turn!
Devi, with a spring of excitement in her step, marched right up, her arm extended revealing the cookies. She promptly and politely handed them to Santa, pivoted in her shiny black patent leathers and with all four of her extremities put a death grip around Pat’s knees. Oh boy! Here we go. Pat and I went into pleading parenting mode trying our darnedest to get her to acknowledge the big jolly guy who was extremely patient and kind. Devi was not budging...UNTIL Santa reached into his wonderfully magic bag and offered a tiny candy cane.
Now I don’t know what special ingredients might be used in making candy canes at the North pole, but they must possess some Christmas magic because our daughter transformed in an instant simply by being offered one. Releasing her tourniquet grip at Pat’s knees, she stood, smoothed her dress and carefully walked up to Santa and asked to sit on his lap! Once taking possession of the sweet treat, our boisterous daughter back into the chatterbox we know and love. The two of them ended up having a very nice re pore as she very clearly explained that her behavior has been excellent and that she was hoping for a white mouse on Christmas morning. I think Santa has it covered as he gave me one of his all knowing winks and a smile. I was relieved when he brilliantly ended the detailed questioning before she could specify whether she was referring to a LIVE mouse!
She managed to ask about Misses Claus to which Santa told her that she is the head honcho at the castle when he is away on business. She makes sure the elves make toys, because they would really like to just eat candy canes too. Devi gave Santa two giant hugs, shook his white gloved hand, said Merry Christmas and told him to “fly safe”!