Posted by: Erica | December 14, 2009

National Lampoon’s Picture with Santa

The holidays are coming and I’m trying to keep up.  I thought I would get a head start on shopping while the little one was out of town around Thanksgiving.  I had done my research, made my list…checked it twice.  But Black Friday deals came and went while I was marooned at home with a flat tire. 

Frustrated, I collected my Christmas spirit and regrouped.  I resolved to make the best of a holiday season that will be lived in the absence of family and friends and made plans to take in as much of the area’s festivities as possible.  Our outting for last weekend was a trip to the National Mall to see the Christmas tree on the White House lawn and to visit Santa at his workshop.  We stopped first at the US Botannical Garden to see the train exhibit and the beautiful showcase of holiday flowers and greenery.  And then we walked from there down Pennsylvania Avenue 12 blocks to the White House, in the cold.  We saw the National tree and then made our way to stand in line for Santa, in the cold.  We waited for a half hour, in the cold.  All the while I’m thinking it’s worth it, of course, for Ansley to have this opportunity. 

Now, before I tell you what happened, it is necessary to remind you that Ansley is a very mild-mannered, happy-go-lucky gal.  She’s never met a stranger.  In fact, she feels quite comfortable approaching random people we encounter with a friendly greeting–and often does so while we are in the grocery, at the Post Office, wherever.  So, those of you who will be quick to tell me to beware, most kids are afraid of Santa…well, these are the facts that I’m working with.  This personality of hers combined with a 3 year history in which she was just fine sitting on Santa’s knee. 

Therefore, all the while I’m standing in line, IN THE COLD, waiting for Ansley to tell Santa her wish-list and get the free picture, I have nary a fear of the tragedy that will soon ensue.  The doors open and the line starts moving.  We make our way down the narrow, single-file corridor through Santa’s workshop.  Ansley seems quite the jolly little elf and points out the dollhouse on display.  Our day is merry and bright.  And then all of a sudden, it’s our turn.  Ansley, standing at my knees, stiffens like a cat on the edge of water and throws herself into reverse against me.  Only, there is literally no turning back at this point.  The only way out is to make our way past Santa to the exit.  With a long line behind me, I abandon the goal of immortalizing her childhood innocence with a photo and focus on a retreat strategy.  I pick up my squirming child, who then thinks that I’m going to force her upon the oddly-dressed, old man before us and begins to kick and squeal in protest.  I don’t have much awareness of Santa’s helpers at this point, but I heard him say, “Here, Mom, sit right here” and he then pulled me and subsequently, Ansley, into his lap.  In shock, I looked up from Ansley in time to be blinded by the flash and well, this explains the photo……and why Santa is on the Naughty List this year!



  1. I must say that Santa is a bit scary looking, he doesn’t look like the Santa I’m used to!

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