Until last night I believed that Cheese E. Cheese was the fifth circle of hell.
I’m gonna have to move that back to number four now.
There’s something even worse.
Standing in line to see Santa at the mall.
Oh. My. Word.
The whining. The crying. The screaming. The shoving.
And that was just the parents.
We took David to the mall to see Santa for the fist time last night.
Last year David saw Santa at church. I know that sounds weird, but it was a big church and the Sunday before Christmas they actually had Santa there after the service for the kids to visit with. We’ve since started attending another church, so that wasn’t an option this year.
The years before that when we took David to the mall he refused to have anything to do with Santa. He would only look at Santa from afar. If we got too close, he freaked out.
So we never had to wait in an obnoxious line of tired, weary Christmas shoppers and their even more tired, weary children.
It reminded me a lot of Disney World. You know. Everyone is supposed to be happy, and yet everywhere you look crying children abound.
We waited 30 minutes to see Santa. During that wait I’m not sure I saw one, single adult in that line actually smile.
And it was hot. Oh, Lordy was it hot!
Hey, mall management, people are walkin’ around in coats and heavy sweaters, lugging loaded shopping bags, pushing strollers and carrying cranky children. Pluh-leese turn the heat down! Nobody wants to shop in a sweat lodge.
Adding to the festive ambiance, the same Christmas song kept repeating over and over on a track.
And it smelled.
We were lined up right in front of Abercrombie and Fitch. So the entire time we waited we were forced to inhale the heady aroma of A&F cologne wafting from the store entryway.
Smells like Teen Spirit.
Do they spray it every five seconds on everything in the shop?
David actually withstood the wait in line fairly well. We did talk him out of climbing on the sparkly, gold reindeer statue, and he almost pulled down the ropes that hemmed us all in like cattle, but otherwise he did OK.
There was a station set-up along the aisle of torture for kids to write a Christmas list. Since David can’t write he dictated his list to us:
3. Thomas the Train
4. Snuggie (David is enthralled by commercials, and believes that he needs anything that can be purchased by calling 1-800.)
5. Christmas Present (I guess this covers anything and everything else that he might want or receive.)
After I assured the ingratiatingly cheerful little elf at the cash register that I indeed did not want the picture package for the trifling sum of $29.95, it was David’s turn.
He got up on Santa’s knee. For once the child was rendered speechless. In awe of the Jolly Old Elf himself. So Santa read his list. David nodded a few times in answer to Santa’s questions. He hugged Santa, found his voice and whispered a few things I couldn’t hear.
As we were walking away I asked David what he and Santa talked about. David replied, “I don’t remember.”
The shock of seeing Santa in the flesh must have affected his short-term memory.
We’ll see if he remembers what he asked for when Santa comes to our house next week.
Something tells me David won’t be disappointed.