I love everything about Christmas – the lights and decorations, the fancy wrapping paper, the cookies and special treats -all of it. Today I’m following Julies lead, who wrote about her experience taking her granddaughter to see Santa. It stirred a memory that I’d like to share.
Thanksgiving had come and gone. It was my first trip to the Mall of America. I’m not a big fan of huge venues with lots of people pushing and shoving. I’m not the kind that likes to do everything online either. People normally don’t think twice about pushing you aside. They think you’re invisible and they’re definitely more important than you.
During these blessed days before Christmas changes that. Folks smile more. They aren’t as angry as they were yesterday. There’s a feeling in the air that brings joy and contentment. Suddenly you become visible again and people are actually kind.
On this particular outing, my granddaughter was about five years old. I’d promised her an American Girl doll and wanted her to be along to pick one out. The drive to the mall requires highway driving, but we were on a mission. I sucked it up and drove through four lanes of congestion and occasional flashing lights, but we made it without incident.
Of course everyone and their uncle was there. It was a whole month before Christmas, but I was so excited to be taking my treasured granddaughter to experience the joy of the holidays. We made a B-line to the doll store and were greeted by a sign on the door which said there was a private party going on inside and we should come back tomorrow. Those big, blue eyes began to tear up. A look of disappointment covered her face. Again, for the sake of having a delightful experience, I sucked it up and tried to remain positive.
I suggested we visit Santa Claus, because I’d heard Santa Land was amazing and they had the best Santa ever. We gazed at shop windows and soaked in all the holiday glitter and sparkle along with the music which surrounded us. We took our time getting there, but when we arrived we saw another sign, “Santa is taking a break. Come back in an hour.”
Once more, I sucked it up and remained positive. By this time, my feet were killing me, so I suggested we get a bite to eat before returning to Santa Land. That took care of her disappointment for the moment.
Time slipped by as we waited for our food to arrive. When we finished, I realized that we were way past our wait time. Trying to keep up with a five year old wanting to see Santa, is not an easy task, but I followed about half a block behind.
There he was, sitting on his Santa throne, with a little boy on his lap, discussing what the child expected from him that year. Pictures were snapped and I was about to deliver my ten dollars for a picture and a snotty little elf came and said she was sorry, but it was time for Santa to close up shop for the night.
I’m usually a mild mannered woman, but I had come to the end of my patience. I replied to her that we had been here for a few hours now and things weren’t going as planned. I then demanded that Santa had time for one more kid. The look of desperation must have filled my face. He relented and my granddaughter got to sit on his lap, list her litany of Christmas wishes and have her picture taken.
By this time I was ready to go home. She was satisfied, except for the doll incident. I ordered the doll online. Nothing wouldget me to go back to the Mall of America ever again.
Now as I look back on this incident, it has me wondering if we spend so much time getting ready for the Christmas, we often forget the promise that was fulfilled on that first noel. The people had been waiting for centuries for a Messiah. The day finally came and God’s promise of salvation lay in a lowly feeding trough, with the DNA of God Himself. Maybe we should start thinking about preparing for that blessed holiday all year.