A Little Christmas Spirit

A few days ago, I was talking with my friends, Tina and Dianne.  As usual at this time of the year, Christmas was the subject.  I was reminiscing about Christmas past and my mother’s visit to Santa.  Since department store photos of children and Santa did not exist when she was young, she had never had a photo taken with the old man in the red suit.     I think my mother had her own bucket list – not one where she would travel the world and do daring things.  It was more a desire to do the simple things in life that bring a feeling of joy.

It is not surprising then that when Santa arrived in the little town of Inyokern, my mother, in her early eighties and  as full of life as ever, hopped up on his lap and announced, “I have always wanted to sit on Santa’s lap.”  The camera flash went off and my mother waited patiently for the Polaroid photo to develop.    Christmas she shared that little photo of her and Santa with everyone.

Tina and Dianne surprisingly  had also never had their photos taken with Santa which surprised me.   I can remember as a child waiting in line at Dayton’s Department store for my photo with Santa annually until the year, I begged off for being too old for Santa.

In the spirit of the moment, I announced that I was going to honor my mother’s memory by having my photo taken with Santa.  In my mind, I saw myself sneaking into Wal-Mart or K-Mart at an hour when few were there and no line for a visit with Santa.  As if such a time existed!  Fortunately for me, my friends enthusiastically asked to join me in the photo adventure.   The next day was our local festivity called Santa’s Workshop where Dianne would be selling her pottery at a stall right next to the Lion’s Club sponsored Visit with Santa.

Mid-morning the next day, found Tina and me in the long line of parents and children waiting to whisper to Santa all their Christmas desires.  Dianne continued to sell her pottery, watching our progress in line, and would jump in at the last minute.  I carefully filled out the information card with our names and added,  Adults with Child-like Spirit.

When I handed the money and information card to the elf, she laughed out loud and said “Good for you!”.    Then it was our turn and we were arranged  around Santa.  I was given the place of honor on his lap.  The photo was snapped and as we gathered up our belongings and thanked Santa, a cheer began to grow a little louder and then even more so from the waiting parents.  As we walked past them, they were smiling and nodding their approval of our escapade.

If there is a heaven and at this time of year, I tend to believe there is, my mom was looking down, l like those people in line, was nodding and smiling her approval.

10 comments to A Little Christmas Spirit

  • I was once persuaded to dress up as Santa and come visiting chidren riding an elephant. This happened in Kerala in South India where elephants are still very much visible.

    • I can just see you on that elephant. I imagine you were a most regal Santa Claus. I had the opportunity to ride an elephant many years ago at the Minnesota State Fair. I had my sons with me and they were only five and six at the time, but riding in that basket on the back of an elephant was talked about for years after.

  • Sally

    Never had a picture with Santa and I don’t think I have one of Megan with Santa. You ladies look wonderful!

    • Sally,
      Since I wrote this post, I never realized how many people have not had their photos taken with Santa. I just assumed everyone took their kids, stood in the long line, and smiled for the camera.

  • Too cute for words Maria. I’m sure that whatever you asked for you will be sure to get it!

  • Most years our church has a Christmas party, and invites Santa to come at the end. Whenever possible, I always get my picture with him. :)

    • will this be true in China as well? I would love to see the photo so think about posting it. Our Mormon Church does a live nativity scene outside on the lawn. It is stunning!

  • I never had my photo taken with Santa, such photos were not in vogue back then in Ireland, – I must add it to my list! My abiding ‘Santa’ memory was the year Nora a friend of Mammy’s brought me and the gift I received was a carpentry set. Nora was disgusted and insisted I have it changed. I went home with a doll, I would have preferred the carpentry set – my brothers would have been impressed.

    • Poor Nora. She had no idea what goes on in the mind of a small girl with lots of brothers. I am sure your brothers would have been very impressed and I am sure the doll bored them to tears.

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