This year, I checked with the website ahead of time to make sure Santa had indeed come down from the North Pole to grace the mall with his presence. I glanced quickly at the posted times and planned accordingly. Had to make some last minute scheduling glitches disappear, but no problem.
Sure, Sabrina wanted a complicated hairstyle I'd never attempted before. Sure, Sammy had some kind of bug bite/allergic reaction situation going on his neck. I can deal. We got it all together, got in the car, and made it to the mall a few minutes after opening at 10, yay! Surely we wouldn't be too far back in line.
No line at all, we see from a distance. In fact, no elves or anybody around at all. Hmm. I guess we'll just wait here a bit until they get rolling this morning. Maybe a few more. Where is the photographer? Let me just check that website one more time... oh. 11 AM this fine Tuesday. Whoops.
I reassessed and took the kids to do their shopping for each other (an elaborate game of subterfuge involving a shopping basket covered in a jacket) first. We made it back to find Santa ready... to take on the long line that appeared. Sigh.
Luckily, none of the kids in line were like my kids of years past and everything went smoothly and quickly. Then we got up to bat, I pushed and prodded everyone into submission, and I settled for the least weird picture as usual. Then we did a little more window shopping and sample snacking in the food court for funsies, and an hour later, passed by a completely empty Santa picture line. Oh well.
Next year, I'll make one of those new-fangled online reservations. #thinkingahead
And really, how could I not?