Saturday, December 13, 2008

Smile Pretty

We headed over to our local mall today so the boys could see Santa. They are now 10 and 12. They both still believe. I am certain that these days are numbered. Still, they were anticipating the visit.

They had written letters and so were a little confused as to why, if Santa had already gotten the letters, they needed to actually "ask" for the things that they wanted. I just told them that it was more polite to ask in person. Give the guy a break - - all those letters to read! But, it's been a while since we've been to a U.S. Santa and it turns out you literally have to plead with the helpers for the extra two minutes to actually have a conversation with the guy. Basically, it is a long long line for kids to wait in for a photo op.

First, you have to decide what package of photos you are buying before you can even get an audience with the guy. I wonder if you decided not to spend more than thirty bucks on some mediocre photographs if they would even let you near his lap. I, of course, wanted photos but they seemed flummoxed that I wanted to actually see the photos before I decided. What if the kids looked stupid or Santa's eyes were closed? The elf did not see my point. I had to decide first and THEN if the pictures were stupid, I could choose differently. Was this better line management? I wasn't sure.

So the boys get up there and the helper immediately herds both the boys at the same time towards Santa's lap. I nicely asked if they could first go separately so that they could have some private conversation with the red suit. The woman looked at me like, "Why do they want to talk to him? Could I not see that there was a line of screaming preened children behind me?" I told her that even if they both took 3 minutes whispering their desires in to Santa's ear, they guy was still making more than $300 an hour. She begrudgingly obliged them.

The photos came out pretty good after all, but what ever happened to the cheesy little photo "frames" that used to come with your photos? Now they just print out what you ordered and jam them in to a little white envelope. No little paper frame, no nothing. What a rip. You could, of course, choose to purchase the "pewter-like" frame for an additional $17.99. I decided against.

So, after photos with Santa, we went to get our tree. We got a nice one, tied on the roof of the car and headed home. We were so excited to get it in to its little nifty tree stand when we got home. No joy.

When we unpacked from London I KNOW I saw our Christmas tree stand. I KNOW I actually touched the thing and put it somewhere. Somewhere where I know it would be handy at such a time that I needed it to put a tree in it. I can't find that damned thing anywhere. It's big. It's green. It's heavy. There's only a few places where it could be. It is in none of those places. I have packed and upacked that bad johnny from Tokyo to Frankfurt to London. It was one of those really cool ones that have the little lever that you press to tighten the bungie-like metal wire. Tree goes in straight with none of that screw-the-little-metal-screws into the trunk while holding it straight and steady for 10 minutes.

I had to run to Home Depot and get a new one. A cheesy metal one with the little screws. I hate those screws. The tree is still crooked. Once it's decorated and the lights are on only I will ever notice it. And I will notice it until the day we take it down. Crap.

On a lighter note - - Shannon arrives tomorrow night. We will hold off on tree decorating until she is here to share it with us. She has her 28th birthday while she is here. Yup. That's right 28. Crap.

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