I’ve been feeling a little forlorn about the youngest declaring that it’s the final year she’ll appear in a photo with Santa.
Santa photos are a bit of a tradition in my family. My mum made sure every Christmas was documented on an old bloke’s lap. Actually, now that I look through the photo albums, she appears to have lost interest around 1976, which would have been when I was eight. Come to think of it, that’s when the photo albums stopped too. Not big on happy snaps, my folks.
(My mum actually handed all the photo albums to me a few years ago when she moved house and said they were mine to keep. I have all my Nan’s black and white photos too, love ’em all.)
I’ll never forget the youngest’s first visit to Santa, which I recalled in a blog called “Why me got no dolly?”:
Christmas can be confusing when you’re only two years old. Your parents take you to meet this scary guy in a red suit called Santa. You have to queue for ages, while people assure you there’s nothing to be afraid of (a sure sign there will be) and tell you to ask him for a present.
Your older sister has lots of things she wants, like Barbie dolls and toy boats and stuff, so you decide to ask for another dolly, because you really like dollies.
Finally, you are taken into a small room with the scary Santa man, who wants you to sit on his knee. There is no way you are going to sit on his knee. He is strange, and big and has all this white stuff on his chin. Your parents try to make you sit beside him instead, so a lady can take a photo. Mummy and Daddy expect to stand on the other side of the room while the photo is taken. There is no way that’s happening. You get a little hysterical at the mere suggestion.
Mummy and Daddy sit in the photo with you and your sister and the scary Santa man.
Eventually, after much coaxing, you tell Santa that you want a dolly.
A camera flashes a few times, you grudgingly agree to give the scary Santa man a high-five, and suddenly you are whisked outside into a dark corridor, while Mummy and Daddy negotiate to buy some very expensive photo of you looking petrified.
There’s just one problem – you don’t have a dolly. You were told to ask the scary Santa man for a present. You agreed to sit beside him. You asked him for the dolly. Where is the damn dolly?
You eventually settled for a half-priced snowman ornament. But you’d still like a dolly. Apparently you have to wait until something called “Christmas” comes, which sounds like an awfully long time away.
That was a cack.
It was also a cack two years ago when the youngest decided to wear a Santa tutu into the city to meet the man in red. Don’t you love the completely unselfconscious years?
And now it’s all over.
Ah well, for old time’s sake here are my own Santa photos through the years …
How old were your kids when they stopped doing the Santa photo thing?
Song of the day: Bruce Springsteen “Santa Claus is coming to town”