Santa and The Mall

I hate the freaking mall. It is the last place I want to go when I need to do holiday shopping. The crowds, the nasty fast food smell, the stores that sell unoriginal Chinese-made crap-- it is all just too much for this mama to bear. And yet, out of necessity, I found myself there last week trying to find some plain old long sleeved white onesies for the Turtles' thrift store Christmas dresses.

It seemed like it would be a quick trip. I would take Vivi to the mall and my husband would take the Turtles off to the local Medicare office building in a desperate attempt to try and figure out why he hasn't been paid for the last nine months of work. (Alas, his pay has been foiled by a Kafka-esque scenario involving a change of address form. It would almost be funny if it wasn't our damn livelihood. But I digress...)

Anyway, back to the mall... We had no luck with the onesies and as Vivi and I were hightailing it around a corner trying desperately to get back out to the daylight, she stopped in her tracks and gasped in surprise. There, in all of his furry, festive, and belly-shaking glory, was Santa Claus. Vivi stood there motionless as she took in the scene.

I crouched down next to her and said, "V, you know, that isn't the real Santa Claus. The real Santa is at home busy making all the toys for the well-behaved girls and boys." All the while, I was thinking about how I hated the mall for putting me in this predicament.

"Mama, he is waving at me," she said in a whisper.

"You can wave at him if you'd like," I answered.

She waved and then blew him a kiss. He blew her a kiss.

I said, "Are you ready to go now?"

She nodded and we headed off in the opposite direction. When we were a few feet away, she said, "Mama, that was the real Santa Claus."

"Oh yeah? What makes you think so?"

"He waved at me so he must have known who I was. Plus, I don't think pretend Santas blow kisses."

That was enough to convince Vivi and her sincerity softened my crankiness about the commercialization of the holidays. It was a magical moment for her and I hope I will always remember it. I still don't think the real Santa hangs out at the stupid mall to charge people an arm and a leg for a photo though.


  1. Oh that is so sweet! I think I might take my girls for a Santa meet and photo op (hopefully NOT at the mall, but we'll see!), because I think that my 3 year old would also really get into the magic of it all. I don't know whether to introduce the idea of Santa "helpers " (fake Santas) or not...

  2. I totally get the Santa issue. I have never talked with my kids about Santa and how they will get presents from him, etc. My kids know that gifts are exchanged between family members but they do know about Santa as Saint Nicholas and how he was a generous person who gave toys to poor children long ago. The only Santa I let my kids see is the one at the University theatre where I work. Every year they have the same Christmas show which is awesome and Santa makes an appearance there. However, this Santa is a dear friend from when I was a theatre minor years ago. He grows a beard specifically for this show every year. Such a sweet soul-he fully embraces the role of Santa. No expensive pictures either. =P This mama approves. ;)

  3. Keri, that sounds like a nice way to do it. Sunfrog, I'm not sure about the Santa helper thing either. I think we'll probably just leave it as "the REAL Santa" doesn't hang out at the mall.


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