This past Saturday, I convinced Alyssa to go shopping with me by promising to take her to the mall to visit Santa. I was not exactly looking forward to standing in a long line, only to have her hide when the big moment came. But I was willing to try.
As Santa didn't get to the mall until 10:00, we made Wal-Mart our first stop, where we stocked up on groceries and pull-ups and children's Motrin - all the essentials. We also needed to return a video to the Redbox there in the store, but I realized that we'd forgotten it on the seat of the van.
No problem- we just loaded the groceries in the van and took the video back into the store.
By this time, it was getting pretty close to 10:00, and my hopes of making it to the mall a little early were not to be. However, as we walked back into the store, I noticed a sign that said Santa would be at Wal-Mart at 10:00 - and they were taking free pictures.
Now, "free" is one of my favorite things, and I felt pretty certain the line for Santa at Wal-Mart would not be anything like the one at the mall. Granted, Santa and the whole set-up were Wal-Mart quality, but you get what you pay for and I didn't want to pay an hour of my Saturday if I didn't have to just for someone with a real beard and actual boots.
So Alyssa agreed to see Santa at Wal-Mart, and sure enough there were only two other kids waiting. Alyssa hid from him at first, covering her eyes, but by the time the other kids were done she was willing to stand by him, hold his hand, and hand him the picture of the doll high chair we had printed out to give him.
And she even almost smiled in the free picture.