Monday, December 11, 2006

Happy Holidays

I was at North Park Mall Sunday afternoon, in Dillard’s, sniffing Vitabath, when I heard a male voice exclaim: “Alright, lady, put it shoplifting!” Of course, I wasn’t shoplifting. Nevertheless, suffice it to say, there are circumstances under which I might have been alarmed at that exclamation...except that I recognized the voice of my youngest child (by 1 minute), the incredibly funny Chris. I turned around and looked up at him. 6'5" tall and still amazingly thin from all that vertical growth, he was all dimples, totally pleased with himself at “getting” me, even if it was just for a fraction of a second. Stephanie (his sweetheart), was with him. They announced that they’d been Christmas shopping.

“So what are you doing here, Mom, I mean, besides trying to shoplift a little Vitabath...” Christopher asked. I gave him The Look, then told him we’d met Kath, Brenden and Xander (age 4) and gone with them to have the pleasure of seeing Xander visit Santa. For those of you in the rest of the county, who may not know this...North Park Mall in Dallas has the real Santa...with a real beard, and a real opposed to all those Santa’s helpers that everyone else has to make do with, wearing red suits and fake beards, that are almost as ubiquitous as neighborhood Starbuck’s, at this time of year.

Chris smiled, knowingly. “Ah, the Real Santa,” he said, and then added to Stephanie, “This really is cool. Xander just went to see the same Santa that Mike and I always went to see. Very cool, Mom,” he added.

“Huh? What do you mean?” Stephanie asked.

“Well,” I said, “When Mike and Chris were little, I discovered that The Real Santa is at North Park Mall every year...and so we have a series of pics of Mike and Chris on Santa’s lap, and it’s clearly always the same guy, complete with real beard, and now we’ll have a series of pics of Xander on his lap...”

“Wow,” Stephanie said, “That is neat. My parents never took me to see Santa,” she said, adding, “That just wasn’t one of the things we did at Christmas.”

Then she asked, “So when did you first take Mike & Chris?”

“When they were 3, so that would have been 1988, 18 years ago,” I said.

“Wow, that’s a long time when was the last time you took them? Do you remember?”

“Yeah, I do,” I said. Pausing for effect, I continued: “That would have been 3 years ago, just for Chris though. Mike stopped seeing Santa years ago, but Chris insisted on coming back, because from the time he was 12, Chris asked for the same thing every year: A girlfriend. 'Santa, please bring me a girlfriend'...”

Chris, who’d been talking to A, suddenly overheard me.

“Mom! What are you saying?!? No, Stephanie, that’s not true, don’t listen to her...”

“Yeah, 3 years ago, just before he started seeing you, that was the last time I took Chris to see Santa,” I said, adding, “Frankly, I think Santa was getting a little sick of the same old request, over and over...but I guess he found you and sent you to him, so Chris got his wish, finally!”

Stephanie grinned, enjoying it, and said, “Yeah, that’s pretty much what happened.”

Meanwhile, Chris was voicing his protests in the background, “Aw, Mom, jeez! I can’t believe you said that! Stephanie, just don’t listen to my Mom, EVER...”

Yeah, yeah, yeah. He can dish it out, but in this family, that means he better be prepared to take it in turn.

Happy Holidays!


Lisa :-] said...

Looks like you got 'im, Mom!

And Happy Holidays to you too!

Tammy said...

Pay back! LOL Very cute story Judi ;) I've missed you and hope you are doing well and very happy.

I'll call soon! XOO

dreaminglily said...

Aww that gave me such a huge smile. I love traditions in families. And the story of wanting a girlfriend is so cute lol

Hope your holidays are good!