You all know how much I love Christmas, and one of my favorite parts since having my boys has been taking them to see Santa. But, I'll be honest, I have a bit of a love hate relationship with it. I love the idea of taking them to see Santa. I love the memories they'll have, I love how excited L is now that he is a little older, and what family is complete without a yearly picture of the kiddos on Santa's lap?
But there are also a few things I've hated the last few years. I hate that we have to go to the middle of the mall and wait in a line for almost an hour. I hate The stupid little "Santa's helpers" who freak out if you so much as a pull out a cell phone or camera anywhere in their vicinity. I mean seriously, last year they wouldn't even let us take a picture with my cell phone while we were standing in line! I hate that the kids only get about 60 seconds with Santa until they are shoved off. For us, this means that the pictures are always of the kids crying because it's a little scary to go sit on some strange mans lap and they have no time to get comfortable. And lastly, I hate that you have to pay something like $30.00 for the above mentioned picture of your kid crying.
That last paragraph probably make me sound like a scrooge... but don't get me wrong.... I still do love Santa visits, I just wish they could be a little different. A little friendlier, and jollier, and, well.......... merrier.
This year I got my wish time like one thousand.
A friend of mine mentioned that a local baby store near her moms store was doing Santa visits on two different night in December and that if we wanted to check it our her mom's store was giving out coupons so that you could get a free picture. So, we figured why not? If it ended up being a bust we would still have plenty of time to go see good old mall Santa.
But it was most certainly not a bust.
When we first got there we were pretty much the only people and L got very shy. I decided to go take him into the store for awhile to get him more comfortable. (Super cute store, by the way. If your in the Phoenix/Glendale area with kids check out healthy baby happy earth) Well, Santa saw that he was a little wary so he came in the store to introduce himself and try to get him to warm up a bit. And I kid you not, he then spent about 15 minutes talking to him; asking him his favorite color and his favorite food and questions about L2. It was amazing and it totally made L feel better. Then we did pictures and they had no problem with me snapping some cell phone pics as well. And one of the best things? The people who put on this Santa give ALL the money they make to charity. ALL OF IT. It ended up being free for us since we had the coupons, but they were selling some cute little stuffed dogs with that money also going to charity so I bought the boys a few of those.
I just can't get over what an amazing experience it was, for the whole family. I was literally almost in tears by the end because I was so happy. Please, if your in this area, support local business and charity and go see Santa at Healthy Baby Happy earth..... his next (and last) appearance is going to be December 18th from 5-8!