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Name: Lauren         Location: Middle Tennessee, USA

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007
'Tis (Almost the Season)
Once again, our family is a little early with some of our Christmas festivities. On Saturday, we went to see Santa at a local hardware store. I guess this sounds like an odd place to visit Santa, but I was looking for a new location because I refuse to go to the mall this year. Our annual mall Santa photo experience started when my Favorite Boy was 11 months old. On Christmas Eve, I decided I had to have a picture of him with Santa (I am not sure why I waited until Christmas Eve to decide this). Off to the mall we went to wait in line with all the other procrastinators. We got a great 5x7 picture for $12.95; it was the cheapest picture available. I also took a few pictures with my own camera. In the years that followed, we continued our mall Santa tradition. Two years ago, I was shocked to walk up for our visit and find out that I could no longer use my own camera. I planned to purchase one picture, so I felt it was a little ridiculous that I couldn't take a few more of my own as well. Last year, the downward spiral continued. Not only was the "no camera" policy in effect, but they also raised the price of a 5x7 to $19.95. The kids could sit in Santa's lap and talk to him for free, but we couldn't have a keepsake from the event unless we handed over $20. Clearly, the mall operation is controlled by Scrooge. So, this year we headed to a hardware store for a free visit with Santa where I could take all the pictures I wanted, and the kids even got cookies. I will admit that I was a little disappointed. Santa has a real beard at the mall, but for some reason he shaved and had to wear a fake beard at the hardware store. :) For the record, my kids didn't notice this; I am the one with issues. I was also disappointed because my daughter, who has been having separation issues, wouldn't visit Santa without me; I did not get a picture of the kids together. Perhaps we will find another location that still believes in the giving and joyful aspect of the season and try for a picture of them together. Here's my Favorite Boy. He wants a video game system, Madden NFL '07, and Backyard Soccer (PC game). He is truly a boy after his father's heart. He wants Madden NFL '07 because "it's last year's version, so it's cheaper." My Best Girl told Santa that she wants a princess vanity, a princess wand, and a Belle dress. In her opinion, Santa can feel free to spend whatever is necessary. When I asked my Favorite Boy what Santa said about his requests, he replied, "Santa said that it would be easy for me to get those presents." Now they only have to wait a little more than a month (or forever in their minds) to find out if Santa will grant their wishes. Somehow, I suspect he will.

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  posted at 3:37 PM  


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