This past week, we took Sean to North Park Mall to have his picture taken with the North Park Santa, who is known far and wide in these parts as the best Santa around. And of course nothing but the best for my kid will do, so I took him to be traumatized by the best Santa in town.
From what I could observe in the 30 hours I was in line — and I’m a quick study — is that tiny children do not want to sit in the lap of a strange man under glaring bright lights while a line of yet more strange people gawk at the spectacle of it all and somewhere off in the dark, a doofus with a camera in one hand and a jingle bell in the other is screeching “Smile!” This makes little children cry. And it made me cry too when I had to fork over $10 for a picture of my child whose face was unrecognizably screwed up in angst and terror. But then I will go to great lengths to capture the magic of Christmas.
Not to be deterred from my quest for Christmas magic, I arranged for Dick, Sean’s beloved Godfather, to come by the house in a Santa suit thinking that a familiar voice and face in familiar surroundings might make it more of a magical experience. I could then snap a photo of my darling little boy all lit up with joy on Santa’s lap, capture the stupid magic and be done with it. The only magical thing that happened on Santa’s lap was that Sean did not spontaneously combust and catch the tree and drapes on fire, although not for lack of trying. Even after Dick took off the hat and beard, Sean could not be consoled. Only when Dick had completely changed into non-Santa clothing, was Sean happy again.
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So I’ve decided it’s not Santa that is so traumatizing for Sean, it’s the fashion accident that is Santa. And that probably makes Mrs. Claus cry too.
Photos: Apparently clothes do make the man. Same guy, same night, different clothes.