It has long been a tradition to visit Santa Claus before Christmas to tell him what you would like to receive. How far back does this go? Probably as far back as modern retail advertising, I would think.
When I was growing up, we would always go to the local mall to see Santa Claus. And actually, of all the places that we went, that was about the only place that we would ever see him out talking to folks. There was another Santa on the way to my grandparents’ house, but that was about it. You want to talk to Santa? Go to the mall. And of course, Santa’s elves would always be happy to sell the parents a photo of their little darlings with the Big Guy, but my parents didn’t usually go for that. It didn’t matter to me either way, as long as I got to tell Santa my wish list for Christmas. Who needed a picture of that? I certainly didn’t.
And when I say my “wish list,” the list was actually only one or two things, usually. Nothing big, no long list. Just some simple things. Somehow, I don’t think it is always like that today.
A few years later when I worked at a store in a mall, Santa was at that mall, too. Santa there was usually a really good Santa. If his Santa business was slow, he would go around to the different stores, giving candy canes to the store employees. We always liked to see Santa coming. And occasionally, if nothing else was going for him, he would belt out a huge, “HO HO HO!” It could be heard all throughout the mall, no matter where he was. He added quite a bit to the Christmas spirit in the mall.
These days, it seems like Santa is in more places than he used to be. Or maybe it is just that we go more places now than we used to. Jaylin likes to talk to Santa, too. Usually, he has his Santa time at our church’s Breakfast with Santa, which benefits Agape Child and Family Services. To me, that seems like a better place to see Santa without all of the retail pressures that a mall might have, whether they intend to or not. Of course, we always buy a photo of Jaylin and Santa, because the proceeds go to Agape. And it is pretty neat to have a photo of Jaylin from each year, too.
This year, Jaylin also saw Santa another time, thanks to our friends the Jamersons who had Santa and Mrs. Claus visiting at their house. That was really neat, because it allowed for even more one-on-one time with Santa. And how often do you get to see Mrs. Claus, too?
I don’t know how many years we may have left for seeing Santa in our family, but I am sure the tradition will be around for many years to come.