I Know Santa

Any time I think about getting pictures of the boys with a department store Santa, a scene from the movie “A Christmas Story” pops in my head.  It’s the one where Ralphie realizes how long the line is to see Santa Claus, and all you hear are screaming kids.  No thanks.

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Clockwise from upper left: 2005, 2009, 2010.  All babies cry with Santa at some point.

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I stopped doing this after only one or two years with my oldest.  It really was just like the scene from the movie.  Yes, the backgrounds were nice and Santa always looked good, but I have a serious problem with patience.  It’s not one of my virtues.  I’m sure I have some virtues.  Pretty sure.  Maybe.

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L-R: 2013, 2014.  Finally got past the tears!

One of my favorite alternatives was at a Christmas tree farm just outside of town.  It was nestled in amongst a walnut grove not too far from the nearby river.  It had that real old-fashioned feel to it, that “over the river and through the woods” – which was actually how you got there – touch.  I had gone there as a child myself, and the boys all loved running through the trees and riding on their antique fire truck.  They had a Santa picture station set up, and so I would get pictures there.  Then, sadly, a few years ago the family that owned the place sold it off and it closed down.

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Now the fun begins!  Clockwise from upper left, 2015, 2016, 2017.

One tradition, though, likely won’t ever go away, and it, too, has been around since my childhood and before.  Santa visits our church every year without fail.  He comes into the social hall with a great big “ho, ho, ho!” and a clanging of bells, yelling “Merry Christmas!”  The kids all rush up to him calling his name, and hugging his puffy belly.  He knows all their names, and their parents’ names.  He hugs the little ones, picks up babies, and pulls the ears of the older kids.

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Unfortunately, the biggest boy had to work the day Santa came in.  Kids grow up and have to “adult” whether they like it or not.  But we now have a new generation to add to the mix!

The location in the room of the red-velvet covered chair, the ages of the kids, the decorations around the tree, and the man behind the beard have changed over the years, but it doesn’t change the experience.  The pictures I have taken with this Santa have become my favorite because they are unique and personal.  You won’t get this with a department store Santa, and that’s exactly why I love them so much!

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I see some more fun times ahead!

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. My mother has several pictures of her three children with Santa Clause, but her favorite is the most embarrassing. My younger brother and I are smiling happily, but with red faces as if we had just been crying. Our older sister is on the other knee with a big smile, but sort of leaning away as if she wants nothing to do with the situation. Santa Clause is slouching with his red face sagging as if he is passed out and drooling. You see, when our mother handed us over to this strange dude in a fuzzy red outfit, I started kicking and screaming. My younger brother copied my behavior as he often did. We were kicking and screaming and crying and just wanted to get away . . . until I got a whiff of Santa Claus’s breath! Whiskey! WOW! I figured that anyone who smelled that much like my Uncle Bill must be pretty AWESOME. I was all over that, and so was my younger brother! There was a bright flash, and the rest is history.
    About two decades later, I took my baby sister who is young enough to be my daughter, to a mall where Santa Clause happened to be working. I had not planned on taking her to see Santa Clause without her parents, but she happened to catch a glimpse of him off in the distance. I told here that her parents would be arriving shortly to take her to get her picture taken with Santa Clause, but she did not want to wait. She started screaming out his name, but in her almost baby language dialect, could not pronounce ‘Santa Clause’ very well. Instead, she screamed (repeatedly) “MENOPAUSE!!!!!”

    Liked by 1 person

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