Monday, December 6, 2010

The Believers

Yes.

Tommy still believes in Santa.

He’s eight and I imagine the day will come when he announces that he knows that Santa doesn’t exist.

But for now, he believes. And yes, some of his friends have told him that Santa isn’t real and he comes to me saying, “If they keep saying that, they won’t get any presents.”

I decided to take the kids to Wal-Mart so they could see Santa. He’s there all throughout December on the weekend. Normally I take them to the mall, but it’s usually crowded and they don’t like you taking your own photo since they want you to fork out twenty bucks for a grainy shot that they take.

Last year we did the mall thing. As we waited in line, Natalie had skipped around me, promising that she’d sit on Santa’s lap. But when it was our turn and Santa beckoned us over, Natalie freaked out. She grasped onto my leg and started to cry.

“No Santa,” she sobbed. “NO SANTA!”

Tommy went over to Santa and went, “Sorry, my sister is loud.”

I picked Natalie up and she wailed into my shoulder. When Santa was done talking to Tommy, he asked Natalie if she wanted to see him.

“NO SANTA!”

“Are you sure you don’t want…” Santa trailed off.

“Um, no, I think she’s good,” I said. It was a nice offer but I didn’t think Natalie would even let me go. Her fingernails were digging into my skin and my ears were ringing from her shouting.

This year, however, she said she wasn’t going to be shy.

So into Wal-Mart we went. I wasn’t sure where Santa was set up so I asked a worker where Santa was.

“Who?” she said, blinking.

“Santa. You know, red suit, white beard,” I answered politely.

She scratched the side of her head. “Uh. Back by the shoes I think. Somewhere back there.” She gestured towards the back of the store and then went back to organizing the shopping carts.

Okay then.

Santa is easy to spot, so we just headed into the back.

“Do we get to see him?” Tommy asked.

“I’m not going to be shy,” Natalie said.

I thought there would be a crowd around Santa. But no, there was just a photographer, picking at her nails, and Santa sat in a large red chair.

Tommy went first. He settled down on the chair and smiled up at Santa.



Santa, it seems, wasn’t much of a talker. But that was okay. The picture was FREE.

I wasn’t sure if Natalie would freak out again. But she cautiously approached Santa and settled on the seat.

“He smells like mint, Mommy,” she called out. “Like a candy cane. And he has a beard and white hair like my Papa!”

I snapped a photo.



Natalie didn’t seem like she wanted to leave Santa.

“He smells like mint,” she kept saying.

“Tell Santa thank you and Merry Christmas,” I prompted.

“Like mint!” Natalie prattled on. I think she almost wanted to ask Santa if she could have him for Christmas. He could be a big toy that smelled like mint who sat in the corner of the room with her giant Rapunzel doll.

I eventually pulled her away from Santa and asked if she wanted to see a magical place. The Wal-Mart bakery. I love drooling all over the cakes.

“I have to pee,” Natalie said, not appreciating the rows of chocolate cakes in front of us.

Of course.

“This peeing thing is annoying,” Tommy grumbled.

“Try doing it everyday, wherever you go,” I said.

I took Natalie to the bathroom and we left soon after that.

Natalie spoke all day about how she met Santa and how he smelled like mint.

I hope all the future Santas we encounter smell like mint. Otherwise she’s going to be all, “You’re an imposter! You don’t smell like a candy cane. Who ARE you?”

And that’s not going to be a fun.

47 comments:

  1. Wow, I hope they're only recruiting Santas with real beards from now on.

    And perhaps before every visit to see Santa, you can meet up with him first, hand him a $5 and ask him to shove a punch of Andes mints in his pockets.

    It seems logical.

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  2. That's better than "You smell like beef and cheese"--Elf.

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  3. Glad he smelled like mint and not booze. Hope all future Santa smell like mint too.

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  4. hahaha
    I love that Santa smelled like mint. You should leave little mints all over the house on Christmas morning proof that santa really was there!

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  5. That Santa looks authentic! He was great! I'm glad he smelled like mint. There's nothing worse than a Santa with bad breath!

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  6. Your daughter is a card!!!! At least he didn't smell of bourbon, right???

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  7. That's a very realistic Santa. What a cute picture!

    I took my baby to see Santa Saturday.

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  8. All I could think of was Santa was chewing breathmints to hide the smell of his 3-day bender. Sorry, it's just where my head goes.

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  9. I'm glad she made it to his lap this time! My littlest FREAKED out this weekend when we put him on Santa's lap.

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  10. At least he didn't smell like booze.

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  11. That is a good picture. I need to take mine. I hope ours is minty too!! Much better than the smell of rum.

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  12. Such cute pictures. This is our first Christmas not believing in Santa. I think it's a lot harder on me than the 10 year old.

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  13. what a great picture! And I love the "real Santa" look! Sure wish mine still belived...cherish the time girl!

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  14. I'm glad Tommy still believes.

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  15. Was Santa enjoying some Peppermint Schnapps?

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  16. The important question - did you get anything at the bakery department?

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  17. Wow, for a Walmart Santa, he looked good! Our Santa looked decent yesterday, except he was wearing sneakers. My daughter immediately noticed and was like, where are the big black boots?

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  18. My 9 year old still believes. I was thinking the other day that it may have something to do with his Aspergers. He just believes, ya know?

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  19. I believed until Peter Leach in the 3rd grade told me that it was a lie parents tell to stupid little girls =( Needless to say I was hurt

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  20. You got a couple of wonderful photos of the kids with Santa. And that Santa looks good too. I'm so impressed that he smells like mint. Some of them seem to smell of cheap wine and cigars. Not nearly as appealing!

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  21. Bwahahahaha....Nice that he smelled good! Hope it was candycane mint and not like peppermint schnapps! HA!

    Cute pictures!

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  22. You are going to have to buy some mint body spray and spray it before she sits on his lap other wise she will know.

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  23. Awww, glad it went well! I'm dreading taking mine this year.

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  24. she looks so sweet and angelic sitting next to the Big Guy!

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  25. Mint is a lot better than booze, no?

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  26. Those are great pictures. And this guy does look like a Santa. I've seen a few that I'm shocked that kids still believe in him after meeting one.

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  27. Thats a good looking Santa... I remember the year all my youngest would do was scream! when she got near a Santa.

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  28. He looks like a pretty convincing Santa, too! Maybe he IS the real one?!

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  29. Glad it was mint and not B.O.

    Evan's 8 and still believes.

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  30. Aww I like that Santa! Real bearded Santas are my favorite!

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  31. Love your Santa story, and the picture is precious. I can't wait until baby girl is ready to visit Santa. I predict it'll be a lot like Christmas Story.

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  32. At least he didn't smell like pepermint schnapps. :) And hello? FREE??? When does that happen. Santa pics at our mall are $15.

    My sons both still believe. Well, the 8 year olds says the same thing as Tommy, and the 10 year old's not risking it.

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  34. Commenter Jen, abaove, suggests spraying the laps of future Santas with mint body spray. Question 1: does this exist? I really hope not. Question 2: Why did you make me think about the fuzzy red polyester encased smelly crotches of chain store Santas? Whywhywhy?
    Question 3: Assuming you found the Axe:Mint and the stinky-crotched Santa, how exactly do you broach the topic?

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  35. Natalie is great! Mint scented Santa? Amazing.

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  36. Wait just a gosh darn second here. YOUR Wal-Mart has a Santa? Hmmmmm, curious. Ours most certainly does NOT offer up a Santa of any kind. Since I refuse to do the mall Santa thing anymore (which is sad 'cause our mall has the BEST, most authentic looking Santa ever) due to the ludicrous prices, I'm forced to go to Bass Pro Shop where it's free. But really....Bass pro, it's just not right.

    Anyway, your kiddos looked cute, and Natalie slays me.

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  37. Great pictures! Glad Natalie's Santa visit was a good one for her (and your ears, lol) Shockingly, my 11 (almost 12) year old is JUST now questioning her belief. Oddly enough many of her neighborhood and dance friends of the same age ALSO still believe. Oddly enough my younger son is the one questioning and giving her doubts, LOL.

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  38. a treasurable picture of the two with santa. Adorable.

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  39. The Santa I know definitely smells like mint. Cute pic!

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  40. Cute pic! I wonder if all Wal-Mart's do that??? Way better than the mall!

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  41. I think Santa SHOULD smell like candycanes! It only makes sense. . .you got great pictures of them with Santa this year - he looks so jolly!

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  42. Oy, I'm with Tommy, the peeing thing is annoying!

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  43. What a great Christmas picture and he's a pretty good looking Santa. How nice that he smelled like mint! =D

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  44. That is a good Santa. Glad you had a positive experience except from the front person.

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