Last December, at eight months pregnant, I couldn’t help but think about how amazing Christmas would be in 2012, when we had a child to enjoy the holiday with. I thought about how fun it would be to enjoy all of the things that I remember loving about Christmas as a child – making cookies, watching Christmas specials, picking out a Christmas tree. I was really looking forward to creating some of our own family traditions.
As the holiday approached this December, I especially looked forward to bringing Grey to meet Santa for the first time. However, I just couldn’t get myself to bring him to the mall, for several reasons. First of all, do you have any idea how much it costs to get a photo with fake-looking Santa at the mall? It’s ridiculous. Plus, there is no way a ten month old will wait patiently in a mile long line to sit on the lap of a very scary looking fat man yelling “HO HO HO!” I did a little research and decided that taking Grey to a breakfast with Santa would be perfect. We could sit and have a nice meal, see Santa from afar, and maybe get a quick pic when Grey was comfortable. I used a website that recommended fun holiday activities for children and reserved seats for us to attend a breakfast at a local café this morning. Grey was looking ready for the event – very appropriately wearing his Christmas outfit and a Santa hat.
We pulled into the café and I probably should have known right away. It was difficult to find, almost behind a warehouse type building. As we walked in, I realized the café serves only organic products and specializes in making and selling organic soaps, as well as gourmet organic gluten free vegan treats. I didn’t realize Santa was on a health kick. You’d think he’d be a little on the skinnier side this year with such drastic changes to his diet.
I am going to try to do my very best to help you visualize what we were about to experience here. We walk past a small coffee bar and we were escorted to a warehouse/art studio/organic soap making factory. As you walk into the room, you are greeted by a bubble machine set out on a table next to what looks like a small studio used for soap making. I didn’t realize bubbles were considered Christmas décor, but Grey seemed impressed by this. Picture five long folding tables covered in paper table cloths. One large table is set up to serve “breakfast.” And by breakfast I mean sliced bananas, a few whole apples, and rolls that were cut in half and covered in jelly, all set out on paper plates. How classy. By this point, I realize that we are a bit over dressed for the occasion. One of “Santa’s Helpers” was cooking pancakes at the end of this table. He is wearing an elf hat, a tie dye t-shirt, and looking like he had one too many organic beers last night. Mind you, he’s not wearing gloves, he’s half asleep, and the pancakes are an odd color…. Some sort of organic recipe, he tells me. I look over and Santa is sitting under a white canopy tent on a sketchy looking couch with his arm around a very risqué, possibly gothic elf. At this point, we are at a crossroads. Are we rude enough to turn around and walk out (which I saw the family behind us do…) or do we pretend that this is normal and sit down. We quickly decide that we have to make the best of it, say hello to Granola Santa, and get the hell out of here. Fortunately, this experience was providing my husband and me with a vast amount of material, so we are entertaining each other with jokes and hoping that things do not get any weirder. We spent our obligatory 40 minutes and then politely excused ourselves, blaming our exit on Grey needing a nap.
As funny as the breakfast was, the mother in me felt a little sad that Grey had to experience Santa this way. I mean, regular Santa is scary enough, so Santa in a warehouse groping an elf wearing black eye liner and combat boots is too much. My husband pointed out two good things here – 1.) This was definitely going to make for some great blogging. 2.) Thank God Greyson is young enough that he will not remember this. I am glad I am married to someone who can point out the positive. Plus, I think we have created our very first Christmas family tradition: Santa can always expect organic, vegan, gluten free cookies at our house on Christmas Eve.
And on the upside, we already have our plans for next weekend set: Visiting Santa at the mall.