outings: first visit with Santa

Every year when I was little my mom would take me to visit santa at the mall. It was usually a huge production which involved wearing a frilly dress, fancy smancy shoes, curling my thick, straight hair (a process I despised – and I’m sure if there is a hell, it’s filled with giant whole head hair dryers circa 1960 and overnight curlers that poke right through your scalp into your dreams).

Anyhoo…despite the drama, I have fond memories of my time spent with santa and I’d like to pass that tradition along to Kaylee. Although, I hope my version is slightly less traumatic than my mother’s (no hair curling involved, pinky promise!). I threw a jersy tee dress over Kaylee’s head (from the Gap of course) and added some tights and shoes for flair. I didn’t even bother to brush her hair. But, she hasn’t grown enough of what she lost back yet to fuss over. Poor baby. And even if she did, I refuse to put her through the tear filled styling sessions I endured (I was fully convinced that hair brushing was a form of punishment. My mom was posessed by the devil when she had a hair brush in her hand).
 What we thought was going to be a quick trip to the mall to see santa turned into a two day adventure. On Saturday afternoon, after our daycare interview, we braved the snow and christmas-crazed-mall drivers to stop in at Bass Pro Shops and visit their santa. The parking lot was packed. Scott ended up dropping Kaylee and I off at the door and had to park in the next lot over. A sign that the economy really isn’t so bad afterall? Or, perhaps that people don’t care and are burning through credit… Anyway, we arrived at 4pm and were told we needed a reservation and that the next available time slot wasn’t until 7pm – that just wasn’t happening with a 4 month old in tow. So, we shopped a little and headed home and decided to stop back in early the next day. Rather than sleeping in on Sunday morning, we got up for breakfast and got all bundled up and ready to head back over to the mall, this time amid a snow storm. The mall parking lot was significantly less packed than the day before. Bass Pro was probably more crowded than the day before though, and by the time we arrived santa’s village had already been open for an hour. The only reservation time left was for 2pm, 2 hours away. We took the reservation and set off in search of santa #2. Of course he turned out to be on the exact opposite end of the mall from where we were. At 14.5 lbs, Kaylee is quite heavy in her carrier and we didn’t bring the stroller. We tried to take a cart from Bass Pro out into the mall, but the cart nazi caught us before we could get out of the store. Scott ended up carrying her and along the way we saw several people pushing Bass Pro carts…

When we finally found mall santa #2, there was no line (poor santa#2, santa #1 stole all the children away). We walked right up and plopped Kaylee on his lap. She was all smiles…that girl loves her some santa. She told him what she wanted for Christmas and then got her picture taken. Easy peasy. They would have been adorable – if not for the digital artifacts all over the prints, most noticeably around Kaylee’s mouth (made her look like she had a mustache). I visited the website and paid for the digital download when we got home thinking surely it was the printer and not the camera…nope, the digital copy had the baby mustache too. I cleaned it up enough in Photoshop to be passable for the web and sent a complaint to customer service. I think next year we’ll try a different mall.

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