A couple of days before Christmas I saw him sitting on his throne at the mall. Nothing super unusual about that … except for the thousand very patient people in line waiting their turn. Perhaps the most unusual sighting for me was the grocery store. Actually, I never “saw” him with my own eyeballs but the announcement over the loud speaker spoke for itself. It was the same grocery store that a Facebook friend commented seeing an especially handsome Santa hangin’ out in our local Kroger.
“Would Mr. Claus please return to Customer Service for a message,” the voice boomed.
Oh, and did I mention Santa made a stop on Christmas Eve at our house. Mimi has an especially large lumpy spot in her heart for the bearded fellow. Always has. Most parents have that one special photograph of their little crying child sitting on Santa’s lap. Not so with Mimi.
Our son is a different story! Ricky was probably two when we hit the mall for our annual Santa photo. The two older girls went first as a reluctant Ricky watched. Katie sat on one of Santa’s knees and Mimi on the other. There were lots of smiles and laughter! We actually have much the same photograph of Ricky. Ricky is wailing on one of Santa’s knees and my husband is on the other knee. I offered to buy Santa a six-pack of ear plugs. He just shook his head and smiled.
“It comes with the job,” he whispered.
Since 2007 Santa has been parking his sleigh out in front of our house so he can get his annual “Mimi hug.” Mimi and Santa met at a Christmas party when I was working in the back office of a hotel several years back. He’s been coming to our house on Christmas Eve ever since. The photos don’t capture the lingering embrace and the way Mimi pats Santa on the back as they hug. But you get the gist.