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Santa Magic

December 12, 2009

Last year's Santa photo (2008) Sarah, Santa, Katie, Nicholas

I was dreading today.  I spent the week steeling myself for the rat race that would be Saturday.  This year is the first year that our weekends are booked with kid’s activities.  Sarah and Katie have dance class from 9:30 until 11:45 every Saturday morning.  Nicholas has Hockey every Saturday and Sunday almost always at different times every week, and at two different ice arenas.  A “normal” weekend is hectic.  Today, we needed to visit Mr. Claus.

The place where we visit Santa is not close to our house.  It isn’t that far either, but it is about a 25 minute drive, without traffic.  This place is magical.  It is a nursery.  They sell Christmas trees, and Christmas villages, and ornaments.  It is pretty much all Christmas when you get there.  Santa is in the greenhouse with all of the poinsettias.  Last year we got there right when it opened, and had to wait in line for a very long time.  I knew we would be in for a long wait today.  Santa always brings two of his reindeer with him, and lets the kids have sleigh rides.  Again, last year the line was very long, as was the wait, I knew it could only be worse today.  On top of that, Jeff had to work.  I was the solo parent.  Kids would have to stay in line with me, with no daddy to take them to look around while I held the place in line.  And the cherry on the top?  Nicholas had to be at hockey by 4:00.  Hockey practice was about 15 minutes in the opposite direction, so we would have to leave the garden center at 3:15.

Last night I wrote out a long list of everything I had to bring to dance, because we would be leaving from there to go see Santa.  Snacks, things to do for siblings that are not dancing at the moment, my knitting, my yoga mat (I take a class while one of my daughters dances, the other kids play.) a change of clothes for me and both of my daughters (picture-worthy clothes) plus warm clothes for waiting outside for the reindeer sleigh ride–it gets cold.  And, don’t forget the hockey gear!  We will need that after Santa!  Oh, and the directions, both to the garden center, and to the ice arena.  Getting lost–not going on the list.

I woke up to Nicholas informing me that he, “slept too hard.”  His sheets were soaked.  He needed a shower.  NOT on my list, but Jeff made homemade waffles, so it wasn’t so bad.  We got everything together, and got to dance–on time!  So far, so good.  After dance, when we were all changed and ready to go, we packed up all of our bags and headed out to a drive-through, so we could eat lunch.  Then it was off to see Santa.

The first thing that I noticed when we got there was that the parking lot was full.  I wondered how far we would have to walk.  The first thing that happened was that a car pulled out of a rock-star parking spot right in front of me.  First we were on time to dance, and now we have rock-star parking?  Awesome!

We went in and bought our sleigh-ride tickets, and then raced to get in line to see Santa.  There were probably ten families ahead of us, not bad.  I brought the Santa letter stationary with me so they could write down their wishes for Santa, so he would remember.  They wrote them in line, and by the time they were done, we were right by Mrs. Claus.  She was reading stories to the kids.  Katie got to pick a book for her to read, and so did Sarah.  Then, we were THERE.

Santa was waiting.  He looked over their lists and let them share what they wished for and why.  He let me snap a *perfect* picture of my children on his lap.  Then he lectured them about how they needed to go to right to bed at bedtime, and to knock off the arguing, and to listen to their mother the first time.  *Swoon*  He was the perfect Santa, he had the magic.  My kids raved about how much they loved him, and I loved him even more for that.  It is hard not to get a flutter in your stomach when you are face to face with Santa Claus–even when you are 40 years old!

We went right outside to stand in line for the sleigh ride from there.  Again, there were about ten families ahead of us.  So.  Lucky.  We took pictures by the wreaths, one of each child, and one of all three.  Sarah wanted to take a picture of me, so I let her.  It was actually a really good photo.  She has gotten good!  Before we knew it our turn was next.  They clamored up into the sleigh, and Donnor and Blitzen took off.  They didn’t fly.  They just walked around the Christmas trees, my children singing Jingle Bells and Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.  When the ride was over, they got to pet the reindeer, just not their faces.  Their antlers are quite big, and they didn’t want any casualties.

By this time it was 2:00.  TWO O’CLOCK.  That’s it?  So, we went inside and walked around.  We admired many Christmas things and then bought the book that Mrs. Claus read to them about how to make snow.  We were home by 2:45.  Plenty of time to play before hockey.  And, what is going on in the kitchen?  Jeff is making Chile Verde De Puerco for dinner?  Oh, my.  I helped chop, and clean up and we cooked and chatted until it was time for hockey.

The girls were playing quietly.  I sat down and WROTE MY CHRISTMAS LETTER.  You know, the one I have been putting off since before Thanksgiving.  Jeff needs to edit/re-write it, but the hard part is *done.*

It was a purely magical day.  A fun, happy, day.  Santa does that, doesn’t he?  Brings magic and makes wishes come true.  I only have one wish.  I wish that I can find someone who can get the pictures off my damaged disk.  I tried to transfer the pictures on to my computer, and they wouldn’t transfer.  I tried to copy them from the disk to the camera, and that didn’t work either.  I am so sad.  We had some really good pictures, and many of them are already gone, because the disk wrecked them.  Worst thing:  I didn’t buy a photo of Santa, I just took one myself so I could download it on my computer and upload it to a Christmas card.  How sad to not have a Santa photo this year.  I keep hoping that Santa magic will pull through on this one too, but I think it may be a fantasy.

What Christmassy things have you been up to this weekend?

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4 Comments
  1. December 13, 2009 3:49 am

    Oh my darling dear, your children are BEAUTIFUL. This post made my eyes well up. So lovely to have a magical Christmassy day in the midst of the Stressmas!! This is what a blog is for: to treasure these moments and preserve them, to be able to pull them out when you are feeling submerged and trapped and say: O! I remember that!

    Yesterday I signed and stamped my last card, they are ready to mail. It was only about 40 cards total, and not all of them got the letter in, so it went faster than I had expected. Today: christmas tree (must get off the computer and go dry Barky), and later? Maybe cookie baking! Maybe just carol-listening-and-singing.

    Holiday love to you!

  2. December 13, 2009 8:57 am

    That sounds like a magical Santa visit, indeed! I love that it’s at a garden center, not at a crazy mall. And surely it was Christmas goodness that had everything working out just right…how smart to have them write their Christmas lists in line! And maybe you could call the Santa place and have them make a new disc? Maybe they just gave you a bum one.

    I still haven’t taken Thomas to sit in Santa’s lap…ever. This year is the FIRST year I think he even would do such a thing. But I keep waiting until he’s old enough to understand the whole Santa deal. So far he loves the Christmas tree (and he asks me to turn on the lights) and yet I haven’t put the ornaments on the tree. I’m planning on pulling out all the decorations today…what decorations I have!

  3. December 13, 2009 12:50 pm

    P.S. Your children are BEAUTIFUL!

  4. December 14, 2009 2:29 pm

    Wow, what a great day! And your little ones are darling!

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