Friday, January 1, 2016

Christmas 2016

From my birthday until after Christmas the schedule is BUSY. It really is my least favorite time of year. Sorry....or not sorry but I just don't love this "most wonderful time of the year".

There is so much to get done and ready for Christmas. Of course none of it really has to be done. And I have pared WAY down on the list of things I used to do. I no longer send out cards. Now that it's so easy to keep up with friends and family on social media I just don't do the cards. We don't buy our kids a ton of things but there is still the shopping and wrapping for the things we do buy.

We do still go to see Santa each year as I really like to look at all of our photos all lined up. We have a nice tradition of going to Santa and then out for dinner in our dressy holiday clothes. We usually go see Santa the Sat. or Sun. after Thanksgiving. This year Cam had to work so we got a bit off schedule. The fact that there is a schedule for holiday activities is a good indication of how busy we get. It's not just the holiday things, it's that they are on top of an already busy family calendar.

So....we put off the Santa photos until really we couldn't wait any longer. We went on the Mon. before Christmas.

Also, Cam had surgery on his foot. He had a swollen nerve in his foot and had to have it removed. So, he was on crutches with a big bandaged foot. AND I had a terrible cold. Terrible sinuses swollen, headache, watery eyes, hot and miserable. And we took the kids to the mall for Santa. Yes, there is something wrong with us. We clearly need an intervention!!

We always plan our Santa visit for when Santa is coming off of his lunch break. We arrive, get in line and are ready when he returns. We never wait long. It's the perfect system.

We arrived on time. That's the only good part of the story. Seriously, keep reading.

We drive an oversize 12 passenger van. AND the parking lot and garage was all under construction and there was NO parking to be found. We finally found a place to park about a mile from the mall. Reminder: Cam on crutches. Children is dress clothes and it's winter and rain and I'm ill.

After crutching to the Santa location we were late. And the line was huge. And it was going to be a 45-60 min. wait to get into the line for Santa. Yes, you read that right.

So we took the stupid pager and walked around until they paged us. Actually, Mr. P and I went to find the restroom so I could blow my nose and stuff my pockets with TP. Cam and the others headed off to find the Tesla store and look at cool cars.

One we were paged to join to Santa line it would be another 45-60 until we reached the front. Ugh! The line was situated in a hot stuffy hallway. I was already hot and began to feel dizzy. I had to leave the area and find a place to cool off. A kind woman working at the store brought me a chair to sit in and then insisted that I drink some cold water. Seriously she is a saint! I have written a letter to her store manager. She also brought Cam water since he was sweating to death and found him a place to prop up his leg.

Finally we reached Santa! The briefest happiness when Tuba say him. Tuba LOVES Santa and his eyes just light up when he sees him each year. The moment was short lived since the photographer was a loon! He asked Moses how old he was and then he "jokingly" said to Moses that he hates smart 9 year olds. He was very gruff and Moses thought he was serious.

The Santa was about 18 and had the yucky fake beard. He had the charisma of a fence post too. He didn't really talk to the kids. The photographer did lots of talking. He told the kids how to stand, where to move their hands/feet/knees/eyes etc. until I was about ready to scream. He also said, "say, my siblings are nerds". Huh? My kids were smiling fake frozen smiles and it made me burst out laughing. It was hideous!

Phew! With that over we headed off to dinner. We have a fun burger place that we traditionally go to each year. It's quite a walk through the mall but Cam insisted that he didn't want a wheelchair for us to push him in. Whatever!

After a loooooooong 15 min. walk we were almost to our destination when siren alarms came whooping over the intercom system. It was an emergency message saying the mall was being evacuated. The message advised us to use the stairs and not elevators. We picked up our pace, gathered the kids close and headed for the nearest exit. We had to use the escalator to exit. Cam and the littlest two filed on after Cam got his crutches situated. Next up was Tuba and I. Tuba HATES the escalator and refused to get on. REFUSED! There were people swarming around us and I could not longer see Cam and the little kids. I pulled him. I scolded him. I tried everything. I was starting to panic when Mr. P came behind him and Moses took his other arm and we pushed/pulled him onto the escalator screaming and resisting. It was horrible!

Once off we had to round a corner and head down another escalator of some stairs. We chose the stairs. Cam was hurrying and slipped and fell....right onto his bad foot!!!!!!!!! Oh!!!!! It was bad!! But he had to get up and get out of the store. Once outside on the sidewalk we realized we couldn't eat dinner there. And now we were VERY VERY far from our van. I contemplated running and getting the van but we didn't know why the mall evacuated and we wanted to stay together and leave the area.

So, Cam crutched as fast as he could. It was NOT fun.

We made it back to the van and got in to head out of the area. Of course EVERYONE else was doing the same thing. Traffic jam!!! It took us about an hour to go a few miles and get on the interstate.

I had very hungry kids and a cranky mad in pain husband and a VERY bad cold. It was an ugly drive in the dark pouring rain. Did I mention that I don't like to drive at night or in the rain? And I had watery bulgy eyes and a clogged sinus.

Sis was howling about her hunger the whole drive. Awesome!

Once we got back to our town we went for dinner. It was nice to finally sit down and eat but the festive magic of our tradition was lost.

Here's what I learned:

We are having a new tradition next year. Yes, we are still seeing Santa but not at that location.

I am NEVER taking my family (all of us together) into a mall or any kind of event that would be hard to evacuate. Not safe and too scary!

I am NEVER leaving the house again when I'm so sick or when Cam is on crutches. We are fools!

I told the kids it was a learning experience and some day we will laugh about it. Maybe.

So...all of that for this. My kids look gorgeous....and I can't tell too much that they weren't genuine smiles. Aren't the childrens' hand placements just perfect?! Oh brother!!


  1. There are so many, many times when your family delights me. And so many, many times that I can't imagine doing all you (they) do. And so many, many times it takes a bad experience to teach us what is really important and how to accomplish a good thing. Mostly, I am looking forward to the NEXT Christmas story of picture-taking. FRESH START. I lived my life by that motto. I agree, the kids took a wonderful photo. I am sorry, sorry the experience was awful but NEXT Christmas...oh, I believe I said that already. Hugs around and hot chocolate and popcorn!

  2. I know this shouldn't be funny but I laughed my back side off! Sorry you were sick and next year I hope you find a better Santa and photographer (one without insults!).



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