Friday, December 26, 2014

Ho Ho Hosed

I am always torn between the need to be original and the joy that I find in being part of the parenting culture.  There is something nice about knowing we are all basically the same.  We want to give our kids experiences and document them over-zealously.  Normal parenting things are still a thrill.  I want to buy every "World's Best Dad" item I see.  (Daron does not feel the same, so I refrain.)  It is the delight of my life to see my baby grow and experience the world.  Sometimes I get a little sad that I can't find anything unique to do for him. I think it is more apparent that "there is nothing new under the sun" when a very traditional holiday comes around.  Is that good or bad?  Hand print ornaments, check!  Picture with a bow on his head, check!  Cookie making, check!  Sometimes I think: Self, "Do you do these things because they are fun, or to keep up?"  

I was wrestling with this question specifically over seeing Santa this year.  Why not visit the old guy? Surely not for any noble keep-Christ-the-focus-of-Christmas reasons.  Only because, holy cow, everywhere charges an arm and a leg.  How did I not know this?  

I keep thinking there will be an opportunity to see Santa where he will be perfectly round with a real beard in a magical chair and it will be free to snap away as many pictures as we would like.  The days go on and this Santa never surfaces.  Can I miss out on the most Christmasy thing a parent can do for their child? Two days out, I start to get nervous.  Should I have paid 20 bucks to stand in line for an hour and get one print of my son with a stranger that was a little on the scrawny side?  Once Christmas is over, I'm out of grade school they will all be comparing their one year old Santa shots (because I am sure children do these things) and Silas will be out of the loop.  Deprived. A Christmas Scrooge.  

I am not going to lie, I visited three locations that day trying to get a picture. (With an 83 year old granny in tow.) I became more desperate with each subsequent attempt.  The first stop at the mall took up most of our walking stamina, but it was early in the day and I couldn't commit to the too-long-of-a-line and still wasn't buying that a picture should be so pricey. 

The second was the zoo, which had been ruled out originally due to the lack of animals at night and the lack of interest in light displays from one particular one-year-old. But if I am paying $20 for one print, I might as well pay $10 and get into the zoo lights.  My plan was brilliant.  I would get in on regular admission right before they kicked on the lights with my visitor pass for free!  Then I would make a bee-line for Santa and be first in line to take my own picture (allowed!) and get back to the car before my grandmother freezes in the cold where she insists on waiting.  No luck there, closed for rain. 

The last stop was a chintzy strip mall Santa in a terrible warehouse room they barely attempted to decorate.  I still couldn't pay for a shot, but at least my son would get to see Santa.  "What, this scratchy looking man in a ridiculous outfit? Let me ball my eyes out," he said.  We left.  Daron was relieved because I had commissioned him to covertly take pictures and he was visibly sweating before we even entered the "workshop".  

So I will have no pictures with St. Nick.  I've decided I can live with it.  I've also decided that I do the things I do because they are fun.  Really fun.  Perhaps I am confusing pictures with memories a tad and making my priority a little heavy there.  With the memory I've got, who could blame me?  If anyone ever thinks of something unique to do for the holidays, please go ahead and put it on Pinterest so that I (and the rest of the world) can jump on board in being original. Now stay tuned for no less than three classic-mom-recap-of-Christmas posts.  

 Silas with a less intimidating reindeer and Daron's sneaky camera work.


  1. If you want a Santa photo next year, I have it on good authority that Mast General Store is your place to go -- it is free, he has a real beard, the decorations are nice, and he is the sweetest. That's what I'm planning to do next year. (: because while the zoo Santa ooh'd & aah'd over Pepper (and had a real beard, nice decorations), he just wouldn't smile!! Boooo, Santa, boo. Traditions I like the idea of: playing Christmas music on the piano or vinyl, Christmas Eve service, reading the Christmas Story on the morning-of, gifting a piece of a nativity set each year, making Christmas cards together, cookies too. We haven't decided yet how the story of Santa will fit in with all of that - what are you guys doing with Silas? How did you grow up? I have happy memories of Santa belief but Jonathan grew up knowing he was fictional so doesn't have strong feelings attached to Santa. I also grew up as an unbeliever and he didn't, so there's that.

    1. Take me with you next year! I was at Mast General Store on Monday (the one in Greenville) and I didn't see a Santa. Perhaps he keeps specific hours.
      I honestly don't know what we will do with Santa. I think I believed in him but maybe in the back of my mind knew he wasn't real because I never was surprised to find that out. I probably won't work too hard to sell it, but I like the traditions (cookies& threats) that come with it so I will leave it up to the gullibility of my son. :) Also, Santa will be a big fan of Jesus in our house. Is that bad? Using a mostly worthless fictional character to sell the most worthwhile real figure? and also weaving a lie in with the truth? Hmmm...
      Also, Yes to card making, Christmas Eve service, and the reading of the Christmas story!