For Emersons's first Christmas (at five months old), we took her to see her first "mall" Santa Claus; she really could've cared less and didn't really know what was going on. Last year, though, at a year and five months old, Emerson wanted nothing to do with a "mall" Santa Claus. She wouldn't get close to him and only wanted to see him from afar. She was still a bit young and still didn't quite understand the whole concept of Santa. The only time she got excited about Santa was when he was in a book or was one of the many fake Santas in our house. This year has been a bit different, though, Emerson really gets the concept of Santa and has really showed interest in talking to him. I think being in an older class this year has really helped her. She has said on many different occassions that she wanted to go sit on Santas lap and has even listed off what she will ask Santa to bring her (a kitchen, a flower, a ball, a babydoll and a present). So, last Sunday (12.13.09), like crazy people, we took our chances at Southpoint Mall for a visit to see and talk to Santa Claus. (In years past, the elves were giving out restaurant pagers for the line to see Santa because the wait got up to two hours long.) We arrived at the mall right at 11:00 a.m. thinking we could grab lunch and then head down early to stand in line for a 12:00 noon opening for Santa. Ahh, we were wrong; when we got there at 11:00, there were already 4 people in line. Danny promptly filed in and took 5th place. Emerson and I proceeded to walk around the mall, buy some presents, and waste time. Around 11:50, I returned Emerson to Danny and then headed to my post for picture taking. Emerson was very patient waiting in line, but you could tell she was getting more anxious with every minute.
Waiting patiently for Santa!
Finally at 12 noon (on the dot), Santa Claus emerged walking towards all the eager patrons. There was an audible cheer and then there was our little Emerson who shouted, "Santa Claus, Santa Claus, that's my Santa Claus". She was so excited and even got Santa's attention with her joy. The elves came over and opened the robes to begin the process. The first child went in; Emerson watched intently and was sizing up this new process. She was such a good little girl waiting for her time to see Santa. And then, it was her turn and off she went with no hesitation, she hopped right up in Santa's lap. I stood outside and took pictures and Danny stood on the other side of the photographer, so neither of us could hear what Emerson and Santa were talking about. (With all the rehearsing that went on of the list, we were sure she wouldn't miss a thing and would run down that list with Santa with no problems.) A few smiles and pictures, a Ho Ho Ho, and a hug for Santa and then Emerson was off his lap and running to her Daddy!!
The professional Santa picture
I met Emerson on the other side of the Santa area with a big hug and kiss and an "Emerson, I am so proud of you". I asked Emerson if she told Santa everything she wanted. She looked at me and said, "Yes, Mommy. I told him I wanted a ball, a flower, and a present." I said, "What about the kitchen and the babydoll". Her eyes welled up with tears, a concerned look came across her face and she started this little whine she does when she is sad. She looked at me and said (as she was turning back to go talk to Santa), "I didn't tell him, Mommy". I took her hand and told her it would be okay and reassured her that Santa knows, he knows exactly what you want. Even though she seemed fine with my answer, she still wanted to sit and watch Santa. I think she was in complete awe of him.
Emerson didn't want to leave, she wanted to talk to Santa again!
5 months old to 2 years and 5 months old
My, how much she has changed!!