Santa Quest 2008

by DaniGirl on December 8, 2008 · 21 comments

in Ah, me boys, Happy holidays

It seemed like a simple enough idea at the time. (Doesn’t it always?) Pictures with Santa. We do it every year, and I love my little collection of photos of Santa and the boys through the years. We usually just zip over to our local Loblaws, who just happens to have the most authentic Santa in town AND no line-ups, and we’re in and out in 20 minutes. It was a little more challenging with Tristan in school full time this year, and with no Santa at Loblaws this year, but a PD day last Friday gave us the perfect opportunity. A mom-in-the-know tipped us off to a deal at Carlingwood Mall: free pix with Santa if you buy a $25 gift card. Free? You know I likes me some free, and the kids likes them some Santa. A perfect day’s outing.

We arrived at Carlingwood about an hour before lunch, and headed straight for Santa’s big chair. And that’s where things started to go awry. Santa was a girl. Santa was a shapely girl with long, brown hair. Santa was wearing a crown and wings and a blue taffeta dress. Santa was — horror of horrors — sharing his big velvet chair with the Fairy Princess. WTF???

Memo to Carlingwood management: While I’m sure there are a goodly number of boys who might have been entranced by the Fairy Princess, there are a few — mine included — who were crushed by the weight of their unfulfilled expectations. Set up the Fairy Princess display in July, wouldja, and leave December for His Jollyness.

I gave the boys a choice: stay at Carlingwood for lunch and browsing as planned, and we’ll make a special trip another day to see Santa, or we’ll pack ourselves back into the car and give Santa another try at a different mall. I could read the answer on their faces before I even proposed the choice. Off we went to Bayshore, where Fairy Princesses are not welcome in December.

It’s a quick drive but a long hunt for parking on a PD day in the weeks before Christmas, but eventually we were out of the car and making a beeline for Santa’s workshop. There he was, in all his red jolly splendor, with at least half the population of Ottawa in line to see him. I took one look at the queue, which snaked entirely around Santa’s workshop and doubled back on itself, and convinced the boys that we’d go for lunch first and come back after, hoping against hope that the line would have receded by then.

Forty minutes later, and the line had, in fact, lengthened. We queued up, and I wandered over to the people at the front of the line, looking a little too much like the contestants on Survivor on day 38 — scruffy and malnourished, where you can see a little bit too much of their teeth — and asked one how long they had been standing in line. “Ten minutes short of two hours,” she growled without consulting her watch, and my heart sank.

I stepped back to the boys and tried to convince them that we’d come back another day. “It’s a very, very long line, guys,” I pleaded. “We don’t have to see Santa today. We can come back on Monday after school with Daddy, and we can all wait together. I promise!”

Tristan and Simon looked at each other placidly and said, “Nah, we’re good.” It was by now early afternoon. I knew Lucas would need a nap. The day already seemed endless, before even attempting to wait out this queue. The boys may have had it in them to wait it out, but I wasn’t sure I did. I tried, I really tried, to convince them to leave. Every two minutes for the first half hour or so, I rephrased the suggestion. “We can go to the toy store today! And look at the Webkinz AND the Lego! And even the pet store!!” This was my best shot, but they didn’t even nibble. Each time, I got the same response. “It’s okay Mom, we’re good.”

And you know what? They were. I don’t know whether it was the proximity to Santa that had them on their best behaviour or what, but we waited in that line for NINETY-FIVE minutes. Even Lucas was patient, sitting in his stroller and occasionally in my arms, looking around and watching the people and the decorations without any sort of fuss. We stood in that line for an hour and a half, and there was not one shenanigan, not a single hijinx, not even a shushed threat of Serious Consequence. No begging for bathroom breaks or drinks, and not even a “how much longer?” whine. Well, okay, not from the boys, anyway.

It was worth it, don’t you think?

Santa 2008

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lindsay December 8, 2008 at 10:50 am

Impressive! That’s a long time to wait!

I had to laugh about the Fairy Princess. While she might be a huge disappointment to your little boys… she was the absolute highlight of my little girl’s trip. šŸ™‚ Move over Santa… Fairy Princess all the way!

2 suze December 8, 2008 at 11:23 am

They must have REALLY wanted to see Santa! That’s a great pic though šŸ™‚

3 Jody December 8, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Wow. That’s a Christmas miracle right there.

4 Virtually There December 8, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Yes, definitely worth it. And boy, does Lucas look like you!

5 Chantal December 8, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Nice. I was at Bayshore on Friday (took the day off work to finish up my shopping) and I saw that line and cringed. I was glad my guys weren’t with me. But then they are scared to death of Santa and avoid him at all costs so I probably would have been okay.

6 Andrea December 8, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Totally worth it! They are so cute…and no traumatized baby; now THAT’S a miracle all on its own!!!

7 Windex December 8, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Great picture! They did (do) have Santa at the Barrhaven Loblaws but though the Santa was great the quality of the pictures was incredibly poor..so your pictures are much better than ours.

8 ewe_are_here December 8, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Wow. They were obviously determined to see Santa, no matter what!

And it shows … the picture is wonderful!

9 liz December 8, 2008 at 5:05 pm

That is a fabulous picture!!!

10 Renee December 8, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Aww, yes, definitely worth it. What cuties!

11 Theresa December 8, 2008 at 5:39 pm

OMG! Lucas is competing with Santa in the ‘cheeks’ department! Sooo cute!! You have beautiful boys Dani!! (or handsome if they prefer!)

12 Karen MEG December 8, 2008 at 8:20 pm

They still looked that amazing after waiting so long!!! They are so sweet!

13 Mac and Cheese December 8, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Great pic, but you are certainly a nicer mom than I am.

14 Jay December 9, 2008 at 2:25 am

That picture was definitely worth the wait.
I hope you also shot gloating glances at the other mothers waiting in line who no doubt noticed your well-behaved kids. šŸ™‚

I sat on the St Laurent’s Santa lap.

15 Elise December 9, 2008 at 8:52 am

I found that Lucas really looked like a little boy already, rather than a baby. He’s so cute with these red little cheeks !

16 BeachMama December 9, 2008 at 9:33 am

Great photo! I love the Bayshore Santa. Santa was at Loblaws, he sits over by the cards, I got to talk to him one day when I was , gasp, alone with no kids. He is pretty great and hope to get back to see him this week.

17 Mad Hatter December 9, 2008 at 9:39 am

Don’t mind me while I nuzzle Lucas’ cheeks. You are one lucky mom.

18 alison December 9, 2008 at 9:54 am

Lovely photo! I’m sure in years to come you’ll be glad that you waited. Kudos to your boys for being so patient!

19 Sharon December 9, 2008 at 11:25 am

Ihave to live through others to see Kids and Santa… My kids have never warmed up to the idea of sitting in Santa knee so I have only one shot of Miranda on Santa’s Knee and she is screaming to high heaven. Nathan won’t go and heis most friendly young man I have ever seen. What is it the beard? The Suit? Is he smelly?
No Clue but thanks for waiting it and out and letting me see that awesome picture of your boys on Santa’s Knee!

20 Valerie December 10, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Sweet! Nice looking Santa, too. And how impressed am I that Lucas is sitting there sweetly?? Wow.

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