We took the kids to visit with Santa last week, and we somehow managed to get all three kids into the photo. Trust me, after waiting in line, that is no small feat! The kids shared with Santa some of the things they hope to find under our tree on Christmas morning, and it was really cute.
After paying an obnoxious amount of money for a photo with the big guy in the red suit, we let the kids browse through a nearby toy store. While they enjoyed shopping the store, it was probably kind of cruel to set them loose this close to Christmas. Obviously, we weren’t about to buy them new toys (Hanukkah starts this week, too!), but they were allowed to look for quite a long time.
Alex somehow stumbled upon a toy gun that shoots out bright orange foam balls, and he fell in love with it. Because, of course. Guns are one toy that I discourage for my kids; I just don’t like them to play with them (if you do allow it for your kids, that’s great; but, I prefer not to, and that’s great too). Alex was determined, though, to buy this particular toy. I explained to him, again, that we were not there to buy toys that night. He refused to leave the check out line, though, so we launched into one of our stand offs (where we have to wait in a particular place so I can out-stubborn him).
This kid has become quite clever, though. He finally conceded that I wasn’t going to buy the gun, so he decided he would just take it out to Santa so he would know what to bring him. I then had to remind him that we can’t leave stores with an item if we don’t pay for it, and asked him for maybe the 23rd time to put it back on its shelf.
But, Alex had other ideas. Tilting his head, he explained to me that he would just leave the toy on the counter and ask the toy store lady to tell Santa about it. I kind of wanted to see this play out, so I agreed that this was a good plan.
He proudly marched up to the counter and when the lady asked him if he was ready to check out, he answered “No. This is for Santa to bring to me.”
I was standing right behind him, and the lady’s eyes met mine and I nodded. “Oh! Of course we can leave this for Santa! What is your name? I’ll put it on the toy so he’ll know which one you want.”
Alex was thrilled. They continued chatting, the lady paying careful attention to what he said and seamlessly carrying on their conversation. She made him feel like such a hot shot; he turned to me, just beaming, when he was ready to leave. I thanked her as we left, hoping she realized how important this encounter truly was.
The next day, I returned to buy the toy gun, so that Santa can leave it under our tree with all the other cheerfully wrapped items.
While I was there, I asked who the lady was that helped Alex the previous night, and was told that it was the owner of the store. I plan to send her a note to thank her again for her kind service, but if you are local and still in need of some gifts for the holidays, please consider shopping her store.
It’s moments like these that remind me that the holiday spirit really is all around us, if we are willing to see it.