Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Santa Fear

When I saw this on Monkeybrigade's blog (thanks to Princess for letting us know about it), I couldn't help but reminisce... (what else do you expect, I’m at that age after all…)

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?


3carnations said...

Your family Santa picture is funny. Last year, my son refused to sit with Santa on his own, so we have a picture of all 3 of us with Santa (none of us in his lap :) ). This year we have one of just him and Santa.

Anonymous said...

Last year my friend was at the mall. He sees a line that stretches for stores and stores-four people wide. He visits a few stores and calculates the wait time-Hours! What idiot would wait in line for that? He walks around the whole affair and sees me and the fam there with Santa.

I love the Santa pics.

Bells are ringing!

Marius said...

I don't know about pics with Santa anymore, but Santa's helper in your first pic might be worthy of a lap sit. (yeah, pig-brain strikes again!) ;-)

As for the Polar Express, I haven't seen it. Zombies scare me.

Trueself said...

I asked my son the other day if he wanted to visit Santa at the mall this year. In the past, it has always been a big deal to him, but he has become less a believer in recent months so I didn't know if he'd want to go or not. He told me no, he didn't want to go see Santa. In some ways, it made me sad, but he is nine years old so it's time. Sigh. . .

I still hear those bells ringing. I've only seen Polar Express twice. . . this year so far. I guess I've seen it at least that many times each Christmas season since it's been out. One year, we went and saw the 3D IMAX version of it at the theater. Now that was really cool.

Biddie said...

Love the photos! :)
My oldest daughter (almost 20) is thinking about having her picture taken with Santa.
This year, at the mall, they changed the whole Santa area - he now lives in an enchanted forest, complete with an angry looking unicorn.

Ananke said...

One of my favorite things to do is go to the mall and watch the kids screaming as their parents plop them on Santa's lap. They have no idea who that strange man is and they DON'T want to be there. Yeah, I'm all twisted that way. Good thing I don't have kids. Hee hee. ;-)

Stinkypaw said...

3C: Thanks!

wreckless: Happy that you hear them as well! :-)

marius: Figures! ;-)

trueself: It is sad that he's growing up, in a way... I wish you could have seen the 3D version as well. That must have been cool. Never lose that "hearing ability"! ;-)

biddie: Too bad the decor went creepy. Your daughter should sooo do it!

ananke: I knew I liked you!! ;-)

Kim said...

when I was in college, one day a couple friends and I went to the mall and got our picture taken with Santa...we got a bunch of funny looks from others too, but it was fun!

cute picture...and I bet it IS way better without those black strips ;)

Attila The Mom said...

awww, how sweet! And boyoboy did your family make an effort for the show. That's so fabulous!