Before the monkey was born, the better half and I operated a Santa photo shop in the Town Centre for three years.
We saw all sorts of kids: small ones, tall ones, old ones, and a lot of crying ones. It always amazed me how many tears Santa would evoke from children — not because he was saying or doing anything wrong, just because he was big, loud, hairy and completely dressed in red.
I can understand how a certain age group would care for Santa very much. It’s usually between 10 months and three years that they really don’t like Santa, and if you’re hoping to get a good picture with the big guy, well, I wouldn’t set your hopes too high.
Last year was really the year that our little monkey took to Santa. She nervously climbed up on his lap and gave him a hug and then smiled nicely for her picture. Our first Santa picture with a big grin.
This year again, Santa is popular. In fact this year, meeting Santa is more like a chance meeting with Justin Bieber for a 13-year-old girl.
At the parade downtown this year, Santa muttered her name among some other kids’ names. At this her eyes grew wide and her chin hung down to her chest.
"Wow! Did you hear Santa? He said your name you’re on his list!!"
She looked up at me, her mouth still agape and her eyes still the size of saucers.
"Yes," she whispered, either stunned or in shock or amazed — or all three.
It was later at home it sunk in and she started jumping up and down. Of course, she was disappointed that Santa didn’t stop to get her Christmas list.
"It’s OK," I told her. "Santa knows what you want."
She remained a little concerned about Santa not seeing her Christmas list until we told her we were still going to visit him for a picture.
We decided to go the Brandon Humane Society’s Santa Pictures this year, since our pups are almost 10 years old and all four of our animals are from the BHS.
She dressed up as if she was meeting the Queen. She put on her Christmas dress, a gorgeous burgundy one with big bows and silver sparkling hearts, and put a Christmas bow in her hair.
She had a little fit that her tights didn’t match, but then after we said we weren’t going to go, she decided they looked alright after all.
We get in the door and right away she’s on her tip toes looking past all the dogs and pet toys to see him.
She held her list tightly in her fist until it was her turn to sit on his knee. She did the photo first and then got down to business.
"So Santa, how are you? That’s good. I’m Sophie. I would please like a Ken doll and some Ken clothes, a Cars puzzle and a Disney Princess T-shirt. Please."
She started to get down and then suddenly remembered something I muttered to her a while ago after she had gone through every sticky substance I had at home and at work for her crafts.
"Oh! And a case of tape, please."
Kyla Henderson is a local freelance journalist, business owner and mommy. Her column runs every week in the Community News.