Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Annual Trip to Santa

It's that time of year: when our kids don their Christmas best and we head to downtown Seattle to visit the Nordstrom Santa.  

Checking out her pretty "dess" 
We were careful to leave Renton by 2pm so that we'd have plenty of time to wait in line, then head over to Pacific Place to eat, and maybe go to the outdoor carousel if it wasn't too wet.  Imagine our surprise when there was no line. There was one family waiting ahead of us and there was a family having their picture taken.  So much for the annual "Noah lying on the stairs waiting" picture. In fact, we had to scramble to get any "waiting" pictures at all.  

The attendants here are so sweet and always offer cookies (or cheerios), water, and hot cider while we wait. 

Lucy and Auntie

Check out that toothless mister looking so dapper in his bowtie and little miss looking TOO grown up!
And just like that -- within five minutes we were at the on-deck bench!

Next in line to see Santa

We decided to let the older kids visit Santa first, thinking it would help Lucy to see them calmly and happily sitting on Santa's lap.  The kids chatted with Santa, telling him what they'd like for Christmas (an RC car and a lego airplane set, respectively).  He's such a kind Santa: he really listens and engages the kids each in turn and never rushes them.  

Then it was time for a cousin shot before Lucy's solo Santa picture. 

This level of snuggling should have been a tip off that she was feeling nervous.  It wasn't. 

To say she wanted nothing to do with Santa when it came down to it was an understatement.

The words you're searching for are ABJECT TERROR. 

 It took a while of daddy and then mommy holding Lucy to calm her down to the point that we could get her onto a rocking horse. There was no way on God's green earth that she was going to sit on Santa's lap, mommy in the picture or not.

Tears still sparkling in her eyes, but calming down when she realized she didn't have to sit on Santa's lap again. 
 Again, I have to commend the Nordstrom staff and their Santa!  He was so kind: "everyone just look straight forward, don't look over here!"  They broke out the bubble machine, the puppy puppet and the squeaker and actually got her laughing!
Yeah, that's close enough, big man! 
Lucy recovered enough by the end to thank Santa from the safety of mama's arms and to tell him she'd like a baby doll cradle for Christmas.  (Now mama really has to get on it and get it refinished in time for Christmas).

Rewarded for her trauma

By this time it was the late old hour of 3:00.  Now what? It's usually dinner time when we're done seeing Santa. It was raining buckets, we didn't really want to stand in the wet to ride the carousel (although in retrospect there was probably no line there, either), so it was off to wander the mall.  Lucy was a big fan of the Nordstrom makeup department.

Boys caught browsing the ladies' stocking stuffers

My independent girl
 We had a great time wandering around Pacific Place, waving at their Santa from a safe distance of at least one floor between us, peaking into a few shops, waiting for it to be dinner time.
Daddy and his girl headed to the toy store!

Lucy loves "doo doo dains" as she calls them 

"Fancy meeting you here, Dintie. I was just taking my baby for a stroll"
 Apparently my sister and I longed for the same thing when we were kids...  My neighbor had one and it was the envy of my childhood.
All Sarah wants for Christmas... 

Brian and his buddy

This is how we roll for family pictures! 

Twirling girls

Today Lucy was back to telling us all about how she sat on Santa's lap, wanting to look at her portrait with Santa from last year, and acting as if it went as smoothly as satin.  Sure, kiddo, let's pretend that's what happened.  She also informed us that "Oah" sat on "Sita's lap".  Yep, Noah sure did. So did you, but it wasn't quite the same experience.  Oh, memories! It had to happen at least once, right?

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