Visiting Santa should be a magical experience, shouldn’t it? Why then is it so stressful??
Yesterday I decided to take the children to see Santa – after school. I thought by going so late in the day that I would avoid the queues and avoid the babies. Nobody would be taking their children so late in the day and so close to the witching hour, right? Also, it is only one week until Christmas. Everyone else would be much more organised than me and have already been….
….Nope…it appeared that everyone else in Auckland with children under the age of 5 had exactly the same idea. I should have known we were fated not to go this year when things started off so badly. It was a drizzly day and we missed the train to begin with. It was an hour’s wait until the next one so in my wisdom I decided to drive in. Big Mistake.
Everyone in Auckland was on the road. Stressful doesn’t even begin to describe it. Every light was red, every car in front of me was turning right. Car parks were full, I missed one car park turn off completely. When eventually we did get a park, it was only the beginning of the chaos.
We walked into the department store and I knew immediately that I should never have opened my big mouth and told the children that we were going to visit Santa. If I hadn’t have told them then we would have got away with turning right around and going straight back home. I had, however, stupidly announced my intentions and there was no way on earth I could possibly retreat now. Instead I was faced with a queue longer than you could imagine. Snaked all the way around the shoe department, hosiery, gift-ware, jewellery and make-up, with cross-looking parents, screaming babies and writhing toddlers, I knew we were in for a treat.
One hour later we hadn’t seemed to have moved much further at all and my patience was tested. I had managed to go to the toilet and come back, Grandma went off Christmas Shopping and came back, Grandad went for a wander and came back and we had contended with two melt-downs. I was ready for a melt-down myself by the time we finally reached the lift to go up to the magic floor.
When we eventually reached the main floor where Santa was situated I had lost interest. However, the children’s excitement had reached fever pitch. Imagine then my horror when we got to see the big man himself and the first thing out of Jack’s mouth was:
“Are you a fake Santa?”
I don’t know who was more flummoxed – me or Santa. Santa coped remarkably well, retorting: “Are you a fake boy?”
Jack, not to be outdone, reached up to Santa’s beard and gave it a quick tug – “Is this a fake beard?” he demanded.
Somehow or other we managed to distract him enough to get through the rest of the visit. However, as we were leaving, Jack lingered behind and gave one last test to Santa. “Are those fake boots?” he asked.
I ushered Jack out before Santa could reply.
Okay…so next year I need to go with the: ‘Santa’s really busy so this is just his helper’ story methinks…
Do you have Santa visit stories you can share? Last year we missed the queues by walking up five flights of stairs to avoid the prams cramming into the lifts. Unfortunately when we reached the top we were given a right telling-off by the elves for queue jumping. Let us know what your Santa story is!