Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Visit to Santa Claus

Despite my not wanting to push the Santa Claus legend to my kids, when Yaya was three we somehow stumbled upon a Santa Claus in a suburban mall.  I can't remember what errand I was on at the time, but I hadn't expected to see Santa because it was rather early in November (or so it seemed to me).  Anyway, she spotted him and having read stories about him, she wanted to see him.  So, I acquiesced and every year sense we managed to get out to the suburbs to see him.  I am usually only willing to venture out there on weekdays and in the middle of the day because of the traffic and crowds that accumulate any other time.  Now that she is in school full-time, I told her she would have to write a letter to Santa (I still needed to know what to buy for gifts) because I didn't know when we'd be able to make it out there this year.  Well, that was terrible news and she seemed so disappointed.  So, I screwed up all my courage, and I hoped a little patience as well, and made the decision to venture out on this rainy Saturday afternoon.

The traffic and the crowds were indeed bad.  Yaya even asked me why there were so many people at the mall today.  But I as I listened to her talk to Santa Claus, I was happy about my decision.  This was the best mall Santa I have ever come across.  Yaya offered him crumbled up sugar cookies that she had just made in cooking class, and he very sweetly told her, "I love cookies, but I like them even better when they are all crumbled up".  Then, he asked her what she wanted, but then he also asked about her behavior in detail (Do you listen to your mom and dad? Do you pick up your toys after playing? and a few more), and when she admitted that she doesn't always do what she should, he elicited promises to try harder in the future.  At the end of their discussion, he made a special promise that made me smile from ear to ear.  "Don't tell anyone else, but since you've been so thoughtful and are trying so hard, I'm going to visit your house first.  That means you'll need to go to bed really early."  I can't think of a better way to make bedtime run more smoothly!  The only downside to the visit is that now she wants to leave carrots for Rudolph and crumbled cookies for Santa.  I hope for the sake of other cookie-loving parents she doesn't spread this tidbit about Santa to all the kids at school...

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