Ever since my daughters were born we started the tradition of pictures with Santa Claus. It all started with their first Christmas so we dressed them up as Mrs. Claus. For the last two years we went the mall to take pictures with Santa, it was easier to know he was there every day until last year at my niece’s school they invited Santa for the first time. I was very excited to take my daughter’s there and it was my little one’s first Christmas picture. It was closer to home and it was way cheaper ($3, I don’t mind paying the $20 at the mall but you can’t skip a good deal). They were both scared when they saw Santa but they managed to get through the picture with no tears.
This year Santa showed up at my niece’s school again and I was ready to take my girls for their picture. The difference this year is that my eldest daughter is in preschool and she comes out at 3:45pm. Santa started at 2:30pm until whatever time the crowd would die down so I rushed to my niece’s school right after picking up my daughter. As soon as we got there (4:10pm) we walked in and they were picking up everything. The organizer told me Santa had just left and they couldn’t call him back. My daughter was sad and confused because Santa didn’t wait so she asked, “Why did he leave?” I felt so bad I let her down so I said, “He had to go home and rest. He has to get everybody’s gifts ready for Christmas.” She was happy to hear that and slept all the way home.
On Saturday, we took her to her dentist appointment. On our way to the dentist we passed by a school and saw that there was a lot of people in line. It turns out Santa was there taking pictures! I didn’t say anything to her because we had to go to her appointment first but I told my husband we should go there after. The appointment didn’t take long it was about 30 minutes since there were 3 other people ahead of us. As soon as we were told we were done I immediately took her to the school to make line for the picture. She didn’t know why I was rushing, almost running, but I wanted to surprise her once we got there. It seemed like we had been at the dentist for hours because when we got to the school everything had been cleared out. There was no sign of people, food stands, or Santa. I was glad I didn’t tell her Santa was there or that would’ve been a second time of disappointment.
Later on, I told my parents that I was beginning to think this year we might not take the girls with Santa after all because we seemed to be so unlucky to run into him this year. I really wanted to avoid going to the mall for many reasons: traffic, no parking, long lines, and high prices. But my dad told me he heard on the radio that Santa would be at the new shopping center by our house this Sunday and the first 250 people would get a free picture with Santa. I didn’t want to get my hopes up since I was discouraged by the last two attempts.
Sunday morning came and I got up early. I couldn’t make up my mind if we should go but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try one last time. We all got dressed up and finished earlier than expected. My daughter asked, “Where are we going?” This time I did tell her just in case we actually did get to see him. As we got closer to our destination I didn’t see traffic or people. I was beginning to think that maybe it wasn’t even the right day or time. We parked the car and walked toward the huge Christmas tree they had displayed.
To my surprise, we were actually early. There was about 20 people ahead of us and Santa was scheduled to be there in 30 minutes. While we waited we saw that they were setting up a stand for face painting, a bouncy house, and a local radio station was raffling gift cards. The time came to see Santa and my daughters were very excited. We had to wait patiently as the other children ahead of us took their picture. Finally, it was our turn. They both ran to him, shook his hand, and sat on his lap. Both of my girls got through the picture with a smile compared to last year. After taking the picture, Santa’s little helpers, gave toys to all the kids. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Hans from Frozen were there doing the face painting and my daughters started screaming with joy. They took a picture with their favorite characters and they got their faces painted by Elsa.
Kristoff and Elsa face painting
Kristoff and Anna
There was snow! (The closest we’ll ever get to it here in L.A)
Santa meeting the children
This year taking a picture with Santa became a mission and I’m so glad the mission was accomplished! My daughters were very happy at the end of the day and our pockets were very happy too since we got all that for free. It was worth the wait.
Merry Christmas everyone and may it be filled with joy, love, and peace.
From my family to yours 🙂