I don’t get the Santa photo thing. Sorry.
I just don’t see why it is so important to drag your reluctant children, dressed in their Sunday best, kicking and screaming, bribing them with “whatever you want from the shops afterward”, to stand in a line half a mile long to sit on the lap of some smelly old man with a bad (and often disturbing) disguise, to pretend to be happy for the camera, so you can spend a small fortune for merchandise that you will either never look at again or that will forever be tainted by the heartache involved in getting the kids there in the first place. PHEW! What a mouthful!
But plenty of people seem to be committed. Committed to a level I am kind of impressed by. Take, for example, one family I observed for some twenty minutes while The Little Lion obsessively drove one of those truck rides that sends parents broke or insane (depending on their resilience against the ‘I want’). They came prepared in a way that suggested it was not their first Santa photo expedition.
There was mum, dad, nan and pop and somebody I guessed was a relative of some kind (judging by her manhandling of the elder child). The two daughters were about 3 and 5 and were dressed in matching, angelic white dresses with bows in identical ringlets and pretty, new sandals to boot. They were perfect… for the first five minutes in line.
Then they were bored.
Then they were ratty.
Then they were hysterical.
Then they were downright horrid.
Then it just got so nasty I had to look away.
And through it all, the army of adults enlisted to contain the girls and maintain their picture perfection fought to stay in control. The girls screamed. They ripped at their bows. They threw themselves on the filthy ground and slid around on their bellies like snakes, trying to escape the clutches of their Santa-obsessed care-takers. And when mum reminded the elder that she could have whatever she wanted after the photo, the self-possessed little miss stopped screaming and, cool as ice, said, “Do you have the money?”
“Yes, of course I do,” said mum, sounding a little less confident by the second.
“We’ll put it on the credit card.”
“You don’t have the money!” she shrieked.
“Here, here, I do,” whimpered mum.
“I want it now. I want it NOW. I WANT IT NOWWWWWWW!!!”
It was at this point that manhandling relative grabbed the girl by the wrist and dragged her from view which sent younger daughter into a fit of tears so dramatic that nan and pop took her from the scene also.
You would think a Santa photo rain check would be in order, no?
No. Mum and Dad stayed put in the line, determined to see this thing through.
I wonder how they looked up there on Santa’s knee…
Happy Christmas to you all!