We’ve already spent some time with Santa (and his long line) this year at our neighborhood’s holiday festival. But there was just something about the experience that didn’t leave us feeling quite Santa-fied. He was a nice enough guy, but he looked more like the town drunk (a bit too jolly?) than the Santa we all know and love.
So after work tonight, we packed up and headed over to the war zone: The Mall at Millenia. We hoped that maybe the line wouldn’t be so bad on a weeknight. Ha! Luckily there was lots of cool, slightly trippy things to look at in line.
We even made some new friends, including a super-cool 5-year-old who had the same name as our little one. She thought that was just about the greatest thing ever (well, other than her pending visit with the Big Guy).
We spent our hour-plus in line (yup, that’s right — more than an hour) jumping up and down, learning to curtsy and envying her long hair. Upon meeting her new friend, the first words out of E’s mouth were, “She looks like Tangled.”
I can make my hair look long, too …
Mommy got really tired of waiting in line and posing for all of Daddy’s test shots with the new camera. He claims he sees this look a lot:
I’d like to think he sees this look more:
Then, since we had nothing else to do, it was DadJovi’s turn to strike a pose:
It was finally almost show-time. Our new friend patiently stood there and let her mother brush her hair and readjust her barrette. E., well, let’s just say she likes to do things her way, herself. I was hoping her new friend would be an influence. Guess not. After my first effort to comb her hair resulted in her running her hands as wildly as possible through her hair, I handed over the comb. “I do it, Mommy.” Okaaaaaay…
Good thing we just freshened up that pixie cut. Finally, Santa himself was in view. We could hardly wait one more second.
This is where things really broke down. Suddenly, after an hour of waiting, we had to decide in about 12 seconds which package we were getting. They assured me that they would first take their pictures, which we could monitor on the computer screen, then we could “take as many of your own photos as you like.” Sounded good enough.
But then things went into overdrive. There was a man making noises and faces to get E. to smile. It worked and the photographer clicked, clicked, clicked. At the same time, they’re showing me the pictures, “Do you like this one? What about this one? Or this one?” As soon as I hesitated and said, “I guess I like that one,” E. was whisked off Santa’s lap quicker than I could say “Ho, ho, ho.”
I hadn’t even turned my camera on yet. So I asked if she could climb back on his lap for a picture. But by that point, the magic had quickly disappeared.
After about 80 minutes of waiting, I’d say we were up there for less than a minute. DadJovi was livid. Our friends from line had spent at least 3 or 4 minutes up there, probably because she said they wanted the CD. We were the second-rate visitors who only expressed interest in purchasing one pose.
DadJovi was ready to flee, without buying anything. But I did not want all that waiting to be in vain so I ponied up the $22.34 for the 2 5x7s, 4 wallet-sizes package. Hey, if there’s not a good photo, the memory doesn’t really exist, right?
Despite the sour taste at the end, it was all worth it for her. She really does love that big elf.
What’s your family’s Santa photo policy? Do you buy the package? Do you endure the lines?
Paige Morgan says
I am sorry the experience wasn’t great, but the pictures are adorable!!! I totally failed and we got to the mall 5 minutes after it closed, maybe another night. Sigh.
Ugh, that’s the worst, especially if you’ve already made the Santa promise. Wouldn’t you think Santa would just follow mall hours?
Our experience was OK until the end. I will say, it was nice that there was so much for her to look at, including TV screens on the ceiling with mini-cartoons.
But by the end, I was so thankful once again that this is only a once-a-year event!