I'm not one for nostalgia. I do, however, cry at every ridiculous thing you can imagine. I cried tonight during "The Amazing Race" when all the teams got their clue from the Russian food cart. I also cry during all the loved ones episodes on "Survivor." Why do I cry, you might ask? It's because I'm sensitive, okay? I've been told that my face says exactly what I'm thinking and I'm a bad liar. If that's the case, I'm not really sure what clowns, team mascots, and Santa thinks when they see me coming. I love to dress up in costumes. I don't like it when others dress up in costumes that keep their face from being clearly seen. I'm sure that other people that also don't like clowns, team mascots, and Santa (the person in costume, not the idea) feel the way I do. The picture above is me visiting Santa when I was four. Christmas in Key West is not like any you see anywhere else. First, it's hard to get into the Christmas spirit when it's 9o degrees outside. I can't imagine how uncomfortable Santa was in long sleeves made of fake velvet. The warm weather always produces lots of Christmas cards of Santa on the beach or water surfing with the reindeer. I mean, don't you see that in your mind as you look at my picture, where my mother put me in a halter top and shorts to visit Santa? Just so ya know, my mother made that top and made a matching top for my Barbie doll.
Look at the picture closely. In the background is beautiful blue skies and palm trees. This particular Christmas, Santa decided to set up in the Sears Town Shopping Center parking lot. What I love most about this picture is that I'm more focused on the candy that he gave me instead of telling him what I wanted for Christmas. Trust me, I was shaking in my shoes. I only went because we all know that if you don't tell Santa what you want for Christmas, you won't get anything. Notice too, that I'm not sitting in Santa's lap. I really don't want to get that close to someone whose face I can't clearly see. It's something I've dealt with my whole life. Don't worry, I'm looking into finding a 12 step program to facilitate my recovery from this horrible phobia.
So you might want to know how I handle the whole Santa phobia thing with having a daughter. Very carefully is my answer. I usually take her to see Santa at the local mall and pay way too much for a picture that isn't that great. I don't have to get too close to Santa because his helper elves take the picture and my money. Elves I can handle. This year, I didn't make it to the mall in time to see Santa. Raelynn did see Santa at our local "Festival of the Trees" celebration. There was no photographer there, so we didn't capture the moment. What I loved about that visit is that the "Santa" had a real beard and is a guy that lives here locally. Raelynn and I saw him in Wal-Mart one day this summer, shopping for cereal and wearing an MSU shirt. I pointed him out to Raelynn and she had no fear at all about approaching this man and asking him if he was Santa. His response was that he was and he gave her a business card he had in his wallet that had his picture on it. She carried that thing around for at least a month. And that was in July. She will proudly tell you that Santa has a pet cat because she saw he had cat food in his cart. Raelynn's a big fan of Christmas. So when she saw Santa at the "Festival of Trees" I was actually able to stand next to Santa and talk to him. He told us a funny anecdote about one of the gingerbread houses on display. Raelynn liked the fact that he had a sense of humor. She did get really upset a few days later when she changed her mind about what she wanted for Christmas. What were we going to do????
Fast forward to yesterday at the evil Wal-Mart. Raelynn and I were looking for a new stocking for her because as my faithful readers know, lots of our Christmas stuff got ruined this year. On a side note- I couldn't find anything cute and I refuse to let Raelynn get a Hannah Montana stocking. I have a feeling that in a few years she won't like her anymore and we'll have to do the whole stocking thing again. Long story short--my mother, Grammy, is sewing one for Raelynn from the fabric that she picked out. (The fabrics didn't match but that's another post for another time.)
So there we are...looking at cheap looking stockings and out of the corner of my eye I see a person walking towards us. I turned my head and was a little surprised to see "Santa" there and approaching us. He asked Raelynn if she'd like to take a picture, and of course her response was "Yes!!!!" So I hung back a little, because this wasn't the Festival of the Trees Santa. The only good thing I can say about Wal-Mart is that they didn't charge me for the picture. I went and picked it up today. Raelynn was happy because she was able to update Santa on her change of mind regarding her present. She was happy, polite, and very interested in talking to Santa. I was just glad that we didn't have to drive to the mall to see him and buy another not so great picture. Below you'll see Raelynn's Santa picture from this year. I wondered why she didn't mention any differences in the two Santas....Notice her posture, her direct smile into the camera. In this instance, she is NOT like me. I hope to conquer my fears and be like her someday.
I'm sure you'll notice some other differences too.