From the age of two, age at which we moved to Montreal, my mother took me every year to get my picture taken with Santa, at Alexis-Nihon Plaza. We did that until I was old enough, I’d say seven or eight years old.
This is one of my first picture with Santa at the mall… I was two years old on that one. I wasn't too sure about being happy sitting up there! That was in 1968.
I don’t really remember when and how I stopped believing in Santa except that I do recall one Christmas when Santa showed up at my grandparents, in Amos, wearing some blue eye shadow. I also remember being pulled aside by my mother and being told to be quiet, because I had “noticed” it.
Every Christmas at my grandparents, it was a big production. I’m the oldest on my mother’s side, of seven. Every year one of my mother’s brother would dress up, and either make some noise in the basement or one year one of them made his way on the roof and we could hear the reindeers’ bells and steps on the roof… really impressive!
The year of the “eye shadowed Santa” was because the designated uncle started partying a little too early… and his wife ended up becoming Santa. There was always one of the young ones afraid on Santa, no matter who was under the tired beard… and we all had to go sit on his/her lap, kiss him/her in order to get our gifts. Being the oldest I would always go first. Some year I would tell my mom about Santa’s breath (even as a kid I hated beer breath!), or how much Santa looked like uncle R… I don’t recall my parents ever telling me that it wasn’t real, but I do remember them telling me to remain quiet about whatever I thought I knew, my cousins didn’t need to know.
Here’s my last picture with Santa. That was a few years back… Every time we would go to the mall I would ask Hubby to come with me for a Santa picture. He always refused. One year we made a bet and since I was totally certain of what we were debating, I bet him a picture on Santa’s lap. He was also convinced to be right, so he accepted the bet. He wasn’t.
The look on people’s faces while we were waiting in line, with the parents and their kids was priceless. I do have to say that Hubby was a good sport about it, and I was more embarrassed about being there than him. When we got to Santa’s elf, we simply said it was for us, Santa laughed and told us to sit on the arm of his chair for some strange reason. We simply told him that Hubby had lost a bet.
Every year, at Christmas, I take out that picture of us. It’s much better without the black strips across our faces. I like that picture of us. Every time I look at it I can’t help to think of that quote from “The Polar Express” (a “Must See”, if you haven’t yet!) : “May the bell of Christmas ring for you, as it does for all who truly believe in Christmas!” and wonder, will I hear that bell again this year?
I think I will…
What about you, will you?
What about you, will you?