Yeah, so, it happened. We got mighty, mighty good boy Calvin to pose for a photo with Santa. Don’t believe it? Well, we have photographic evidence.
For Calvin’s first Christmas, we didn’t even bother to see Santa. He was not even 3 months old. We didn’t want to wait in lines and deal with mall crowds. We were more concerned with still trying to take our baby to happy hours and holiday parties at bowling alleys. True story.
The following year, when Calvin was about 1, we got him to sit on Santa’s lap, but that’s because he was 1 and still not terribly mobile. He would sit wherever we put him, and that’s that.
In 2013, when Calvin was 2, he completely dissed Santa. He wasn’t even willing to be in the same room with him. We didn’t get a photo that year.
Last year, Calvin was willing to be in the same room as Santa, but refused to sit on his lap. I get it. I don’t want to on some random dude’s lap, either. We were able to get a photo of Calvin standing in the vicinity of Santa.
This year, making the Santa photo happen wasn’t terribly easy. There was an original trip to the mall that ended with me crying, because I have turned into the type of person who fuckin’ cries about everything now. I’m a real joy to be around.
In the past, we have gone to see Santa in Albany with our friends Jeff, Jess and their son, Henry. This year, we couldn’t line up our schedules to make it happen. I read online that the Sun Valley Mall in Concord not only had Santa, but Snoopy was there. Snoopy! The Boy loves Snoopy. He doesn’t really care about Santa, but a photo with Snoopy – he’d be into that.
So, we hauled our asses to Concord. “It might be crowded, but all of those people will want to see Santa. We just want to see Snoopy,” I said, stupidly.
We got to the mall, and the line for Santa was hours long. It was ridiculous. We walked around the line and tried to find Snoopy. Finally, we saw him. It was a statue of Snoopy on his doghouse. WTF?! That’s not what I read. (It turns out I didn’t read very thoroughly.)
I walked up the counter and asked the ladies behind it if we could just do the Snoopy photo and skip Santa. Nope. You have to wait in the same line for both. Why? Most of these people are for Santa, and we just want to see Snoopy. Too bad.
At that point, Calvin was more interested in riding in the elevator anyway. So, we rode the elevator and left. We stopped by my parents’ house, and my mom had bought Calvin a little “Peanuts” Christmas toy. It has Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the little Christmas tree, and it plays the “Peanuts” theme. And then I starting crying because I felt like an idiot who didn’t do solid research and wasted our entire Sunday on a failed trip to a mall. I think the holidays make me kinda emotional. Or maybe it’s the chemo-induced menopause. Or maybe it’s both.
Anyway, I wanted to try this whole Santa thing one more time. It turns out at the Stonestown Mall in San Francisco – the mall that is three minutes from our house – you can actually make a reservation to see Santa. Brilliant. Have fun waiting in line, suckers. We’re never doing that shit again.
We made an appointment, and I mentioned it Calvin a few times during the day that we were going to see Santa later.
“You can sit on his lap, and tell him what you want for Christmas. What would you like for Christmas?” I asked.
“Beans,” he said, referring to jelly beans.
“You got it. First, Santa. Then, beans.”
And it worked. He walked right up to Santa. Calvin seemed a little intimidated at first, but then he sat in his lap, and laughed and smiled with Santa.
We were really proud of him for being so brave, because when you’re a kid seeing Santa is pretty much exactly like that scene in “A Christmas Story.”