Yes, it's that time of year again - Santa pictures! I don't know how much longer I'll be able to get away with this, so I'm taking advantage while I can (maybe I'll convince them it's kitschy and cute for teenagers to take Santa pictures, maybe I'll bribe them, you never know). It's my tradition and I'm sticking to it.
But the course of Santa never does run smooth, so of course there had to be a story. I'm right in the middle of setting up Girl Scout cookie sales for next year (Happy Holidays to me, blergh), and I had 1 final task to complete today, at a very specific time (kind of like trying to land that precious eBay auction in the final nanoseconds), and the system crashed. I refreshed like a mad woman, but somehow I didn't have the golden ticket to get in fast enough and now I have to drive 30 miles out of my way to pick up the little sugar bombs. So I was perturbed from the start.
I rounded up the kids, cleaned then up a bit, sprayed a cloud of hairspray, and loaded them into the car. As I drove, I congratulated myself in checking Santa's schedule and finding out he wouldn't even have been around before 11AM. Without that tidbit of information, I might have headed out first thing this morning and ended up waiting forever, ha ha ha, I am so smug. You see where this is going, right?
We marched right up to the photo kiosk to find a sign that read "Santa is feeding his reindeer. He will be back at 2PM." It was 1:10. Goody. Now, I do not have toddlers any longer, but I really didn't know how long I could keep these two from losing their minds. And my own, frankly. But we rallied and decided to take care of some Christmas shopping (oh just to wait and see what they picked out for you, Daddy) and made it back with 10 minutes to spare. There were a couple of families waiting ahead of us, and we watched as their sweet little cherubs, one after another, contorted their faces in silent (and not so silent) screams while being placed on St. Nick's lap. I do remember those days, and I did not feel smug. Nope. I feel ya, parents.
When it was our turn, I tried to be as gracious and quick as possible, directed the kids to sit properly, smooth down their hair, and for heaven's sake smile. Snap, snap, snap, and done. I wished the photo elves a peaceful season and thanked them for the not so easy job they had, and we beat it out of there to the parking lot. There was a brief moment when I thought I'd dropped the photos, but they had just fallen down in the passenger seat, and I didn't have a total heart attack anyway. And just like that, Santa pictures are in the books for 2016. Thank all that is merry.