As I mentioned in a previous post, we are trying to be frugal this year. So it would stand to reason that I would not want to spend alot of money getting my daughter's picture taken with Santa. Yet somehow reason never plays into tradition.
As a reminder to those of you who came to my Christmas Home Tour, I have pictures of Jake with Santa from age 1 through 8 when the jig was up and he knew Santa wasn't real. It is sort of a silly tradition but those pictures are some of my favorite Christmas decorations as I have a chance to see my little boy grow up with Santa year after year. Jake enjoyed the tradition as well and always went right up to him, sat on his lap and smiled for the picture. We often wondered if we should take his lack of separation anxiety personally but it really made it easy for us at times like this.
Isabelle and I were off to visit Santa when she was 9 months old. I couldn't wait to create new memories with her. Of course at 9 months she didn't want to sit on Santa's lap but they put her in a little chair on the floor in front of Santa, got her smiling and then Santa crawled up behind her and got in the picture. I loved the picture. The next year I got her on his lap but didn't get a smile. She just sat clutching her blanket and waiting for it to be over. Since I am just trying to capture a moment I don't dress the kids up or worry about the perfect picture so I was happy just to get the right look of the picture.
Last year she sat on Santa's lap but cried. So our picture has a crying Isabelle once again clutching the blanket. And once again I am happy with the picture because it is capturing that moment and has the consistent look of all the other Santa pictures.
This year Isabelle is a little older and wiser. She admires herself in the pictures of years past noticing how much fluffier and pinker her blanket used to look and laughing at herself for crying on Santa's lap. We talk about her doing it again this year and she is all about it. Until we get there. As soon as we got near the Santa line she started freaking out. Grandma was with and we tried to calm her down. There would be no picture of her sitting on Santa's lap crying unless we surgically removed her from my body and glued her down to Santa's lap. We were the only ones in line so tried to calm her down and managed to get her to sit on Grandma's lap while Grandma sat next to Santa. The picture was cute but my tradition doesn't have Grandma or me in it just my child. I needed Isabelle with Santa. So they suggested as with the first picture that we just get Isabelle to pose and then Santa will sneak up behind her. That picture is also nice and has a charm all its own but doesn't have the right look. No Santa chair in the background. Just trees and Santa. But we are just trying to capture a moment and this is what we got this year at this moment so, I bought the tree picture and Grandma bought the grandma picture and we went home.
Now I have spent $14 on a picture and Grandma has spent another $14 on her picture to fill my tradition and I really don't have alot of $14 to toss around so of course you know that I want to have another one taken. Each time Isabelle and I were at the mall I would have a little internal battle with myself. I would consider trying to get a new one (you don't have to buy if they don't turn out) and then would tell myself I don't need a new one because I have captured the moment and I don't need to spend the money on something so frivolous. (we all know how this is going to end)
Yesterday Mom and I brought Isabelle downtown to see the Christmas display at Dayton's (Oh I mean Macy's).
Isabelle was totally enthralled with the display and so after lunch we made a second trip through. At the end of the display is a line to see Santa. The first time through we skipped past it to the gift shop ,which is at the end of all good tours. :) The second time through Isabelle suddenly announces that she wants to see Santa and she isn't going to cry. She seemed so sure and excited that I decided to get in line. Mom was feeling a little impatient about standing in line for what was sure to be a waste of time as Isabelle once again would freak out. But this was my chance to get another picture! Oh, I mean Isabelle is asking. I can't say no can I? I did it for her.
Well wouldn't you know I walked up to Santa, Isabelle got into his lap, smiled a big smile for the camera and then chatted with him giving me time to get my camera out and snap one of my own pictures of the two of them. So I forked over another $10 (at least it was a cheaper Santa) and $38 later my perfect Santa picture joined the collection on my shelf.