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Things I Dread About Christmas: Visiting the Mall Santa

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, you have no choice but to begin thinking about Christmas. Well, unless you want to shut yourself inside your home without radio, television, or internet and have your groceries delivered, but even then your package of Wheaties is likely to be encased in a holiday-themed box. Resistance is futile. There’s no escaping the red and green.

Christmas music is on every radio station, plastic snowflakes and white lights adorn every store, and, most importantly, the mall Santa has assumed his post at the center of our local shopping mall. Regarding that last part, please don’t tell my children. 

Getting the above picture last year required a two hour and fifteen minute wait during which much screaming and tantrum throwing and tear shedding occurred. At one point my two-year-old even tried to rip the buttons right off my coat with her teeth. We were those parents you see out in public. You know, the ones you feel sorry for and then go home and double up on the birth control for the next few days?

Along with the knowing smiles of support of the parents surrounding us we also got quite a few glares. Mostly from parents cuddling quiet newborns who don’t know yet that they are glaring right into their future.

Anders and Danica are great kids, but there’s only so much standing in a line moving at a glacial pace, writhing in anticipation, long past bedtime that a couple of kids can take.

Waiting in the sometimes hours long line to see Santa comes at greater risk than just the middle-of-the-mall-meltdown. There’s also the chance that your kid will be terrified of him, that they’ll refuse to sit in his lap, that they’ll sit in his lap and scream the entire time, or, if you’re lucky like us, that your kid will actually urinate on him.

Aside from being whined within an inch our life and a solid dose of public embarrassment, we were lucky in that both our children loved their 42 second visit with Santa Claus last year. So much so that Anders has already begun asking when we will be going this year. I’m hoping to convince him that in light of our current economic crisis Santa has cut back on his work force and will be spending all of his time before Christmas at the North Pole lending a hand to the elves making toys.

Will your family be visiting the mall Santa this year? Do you look forward to it or is it another holiday tradition you endure for the spirit of Christmas?

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