Thursday, December 11, 2008
It's Pictures with Santa time again. I dread this particular Act of Commercial Christmas (even though I do enjoy many others.) Every year we have the "do we take the kids to see Santa?" discussion. Invariably, we decide that we should probably just go ahead and do it because if we don't, we have to worry that we've ruined our children's cultural experience of Christmas and denied them an important right of passage.

So we wipe the gunk from their faces, prep them for the experience, and dive in. We wait in line as we watch other children go kicking and screaming to Santa's lap all the while reassuring our children that Santa is really just as jolly as a bowl full of jelly.

And, finally, when we get there, we are pressed into paying for these odd photos capturing odd moments. Fear. Panic. Uncomfortable contact with a mysterious, mythical stranger (that, as parents, we would normally not approve of). Caught on film for an eternity and, in the digital age, distributed world-wide.

I don't know too many people who really enjoyed their trip to Santa's lap as a child and not many parents who can say their children didn't cry, at least when they were too little to hide their emotions. I'm definitely more a fan of the idea of Santa than the living breathing one at the photo op myself. Sometimes real magic is best not seen.

Now, excuse me while I go post our Santa photos on my website.


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