The Winter Wonderland

January 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm 1 comment

The next part of our holiday festivities took us to Eric’s parent’s house in the Chicago area.  Summary: delay, delay, delay, bad Santa, pedophiles, and pictures.

On Tuesday, we began our trek to Chicago.  As is par for our air travel experiences, our flight was 3 hours delayed, including a 1 1/2 hour wait, then board, then sit at the gate for 45 minutes telling us we may leave, or get to deboard the plane, then head out to the run way, then wait another 30 minutes, and then finally fly out…and circle over Lake Michigan over and over again. 

We finally arrived in the Winter Wonderland and were picked up in our modern day sled driven by GranPaPa.  We arrived at GranPaPa and GranMaMa’s house just in time for the holiday party they were hosting for some dear friends of theirs.  That evening people inquired as to our plans for the next day and we mentioned that we would be heading out to visit Santa somewhere.  I meant to get Hailey’s picture done with Santa before we left (see previous blog posts for my rant on the commerical Christmas).  I even had someone give me details of a great neighborhood Santa that did posed for pictures for free on his front porch, but because Hailey had a runny nose for a few days and it was a little chilly out, we decided to wait until we got to Chicago for the picture.  Plus it seemed like a fun event to include grandparents and aunts and uncles in. 

However, this decision, apparently, was the worst decision I made over the holidays…which is saying a lot, because I definitely made some bad decisions (candy, cookie, pumpkin bread, cupcake, etc., etc.).  Anyways, I digress.  Back to the tale at hand…

So, we were informed that the best Santa in the area was at the Bass Pro Shop and they let you take your own pictures, however many you wanted, for free.  Yes, for free.  So the next afternoon we headed out in the midst of much snow to the Bass Pro Shop.  GranMaMa called ahead to be sure Santa was indeed still at the Bass Pro Shop and not back in his toy shop finishing up all his gifts for the good little boys and girls.  And indeed, Santa was still around.  Apparently Santa plans much better than we did, as we spent some time that morning finishing up our shopping, which meant the driveway had to be snowplowed.  But wow, was all the snow beautiful.  This is one of my favorite things about Christmas in Chicago, the beauty of the snow falling and the piles of snow all about. 

And again, I digress.  So we loaded everyone up and unloaded again in the midst of said snow, only to find that Santa was taking a mandatory lunch break.  Apparently even Santa has to follow the U. S. Workforce and Labor guidelines.  But his lunch break was going to be 1 1/2 hours long, which would put us in line at 5:00 pm on December 23.  This seemed a bit much for all of us, so we decided to simply go find the mall Santa, pay whatever it cost for pictures, get the pictures made and go home. 

We headed on into the mall, which on the afternoon of December 23 was quite a scary endeavor.  We got in line, read the brochure and the sign, which all noted that you cannot take your own pictures due to copyright protection of Santa…not sure why Santa feels the need to use all the laws and guideline of the United States to protect himself, he is Santa afterall.  That should be enough said.  He has the power of the naughty and nice list, why, oh why, does there have to be so many rules about this?  Anyways, it was our turn.  The elves were not so jolly or helpful in leading us to Santa, but eventually we stumbled up to his throne.  Santa pointed to his left arm, I assumed this meant put your precious little girl into my arms right here.  Santa looked at the camera and the elves started taking pictures.  Eric and I tried to gather Hailey’s attention, but she was pretty curious about this whole Santa thing.  Let me clearly note at this point in the story that Santa was not speaking to us or our daughter at all.  No “Ho Ho Ho” or “What is your name?”  or “Isn’t she a sweet one?”…nothing. 

All the sudden, a camera flashed from outside of the Santa line.  I looked over, saw a family facing the Santa booth and thought, that it was odd that they would take a picture, but I guess they just wanted a picture of Santa without paying for it.  Santa turned to me and said, “do you know that man?”  I said, “no”.  And then all heck broke loose.  Santa jumped up, practically threw Hailey at Eric, and then marched over to the line.  He was talking very aggressively, but I could not see who he was talking to.  I turned to the other side of the Santa station and saw my mother in law and sister in law, and then turned back around to see that Santa was gripping out my father in law.  One of the elves told us they cannot have people taking pictures at just any time because it messes up their flash.  The other elf walked over to Santa, and then hollered, “I am out of here” and marched off in the direction of mall security.  My sister in law decided she needed to make sure GranPaPa was around for Christmas and not in jail, so she grabbed him and headed out the door.  Meanwhile, Eric and I are standing there in fear and trepidation thinking GranPaPa was going to jail for copyright infringement. 

Then Santa came back, and finished taking pictures without speaking to our daughter once.  Hailey, needless to say, was done with the photo session.  As Santa returned our daughter to us for the second time, he walked over to my mother in law and said they had to be leery of pedophiles taking pictures of children.  My mother in law mentioned that GranPaPa was just trying to take a picture of his granddaughter and the elf told him he could as long as we bought a picture package, which we were indeed doing.  Santa apologized and said he would apologize to GranPaPa.  GranMaMa mentioned the mortal embarrassment of the moment for GranPaPa and Santa decided to give us the pictures for free, yes, even the USB port for free. 

And all I wanted was a stiff, stiff, stiff drink.  Once we got back in the car and all compared the details from each of our own perspectives, we pieced together that because I said I did not know GranPaPa, Santa decided he was a pedophile and even though all the other children in line got to see Santa get upset and ugly, he thought he was doing the right thing…allbeit, a little aggressively.  But he was also the kind of Santa that does not say “Ho Ho Ho” to the children, or even ask their names, or comment on how adorable my little girl is, and even the produce guy at the grocery store does that. 

So, here are the pictures.  You can see Hailey through all three phases of the ordeal…before, during and after.  I am not sure that Hailey will remember any of this, in fact, I am pretty sure she won’t.  But, I am also not sure that somewhere in her subconscious this event was not noted, and she will forever have an uncertainty of this whole Santa character.  At least until she is 8 or 9.  Then all truth will come to light for Santa.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

The Holiday Recap Begins Winter Wonderland Part 2 – A Photo Journal

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jen Graham  |  January 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    OMG that is so funny! Kim, you really know how to tell a good story 🙂 I laughed out loud after the line “I needed a stiff drink” What a great story to tell Hailey as she gets older.


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