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“All good things come to he who waits” ~Proverbs

We all slept in today; I guess we’re still catching up from our Thanksgiving trip.  Our Parents-as-Teachers lady came over at 8:30 and we were all still in our pajamas (at least Grace, Max and I were — Dan went to work).  It was one of those days that I am so thankful to work part time and to have two days a week with the kids to myself, without much of a schedule.  It was 25 degrees outside with a bright blue sky.  I decided it was a perfect day to visit Santa.

So, we got dressed and headed out to Plaza Frontenac.  Frontenac is the high falutin mall where very prestigious people have been arrested for simply being black, there is no kids play area and the ladies-who-lunch are the only ones who fill the halls, boutiques and spa. It is quintessential St. Louis (good and bad).  I remember going there as a little girl with my mom when we would come to St. Louis to visit my Grandma.  I’ve taken the kids to visit Santa and the Easter Bunny there in the past; the Santa display is quite elegant and classy.

Grace brought four letters for Santa and at the last minute grabbed a candy cane for him.  We got there at 10:30 am hoping that the Santa line wouldn’t be too long.   To our happy surprise, there was no one in line when we got there and Santa wasn’t there yet either.  Grace was more than thrilled that we were first in line, and that we had a chance to sit in Santa’s chair and check out the pretty christmas trees that were around.

After 10 minutes or so, I asked a maintenance guy when Santa was expected to arrive.  He informed us that Santa comes at 11:00 am.  At 11:00 a girl came over and took me aside to explain that this was Santa’s first day visiting this mall and his belly was too big for the Santa suit.  She said that they were having a messenger bring a bigger suit (she said ne needed a 3xl) from headquarters and that Santa would arrive at 11:30.   The lady then explained to the kids that Santa’s reindeer were having trouble getting Santa to the mall.  Grace was quite calm and confident and told me that we could wait.  And then she asked me to ask the lady what was wrong with the reindeer.  The lady said that Rudoulf was sick.

We grabbed a cookie as quick as we could, and came back down to make sure we were still first in line.  By that time, the girl said that they were taking longer than expected and that it would be 12:00 before Santa would arrive.  Again, Grace was as calm as could be and said we would wait.  I have never seen this kind of patience from my child before.  So we waited, and waited and waited.  The line got longer and longer.  And the parents in line got madder and madder.  A bunch of them were especially mad because they had taken the day off from work to see Santa when they wouldn’t have to wait in a long line.

The whole thing was cracking me up — the huge and really kind of pretty display for Santa, the stories the worker-girl was telling, how mad the parents were getting and most of all how FAT this guy must have been to not fit in the 2xl santa suit.  One of the parents asked the girl if they could just send Santa out with the too-small jacket.  She said that she had already asked about that and the Frontenac Management would not allow it.  We didn’t have anywhere to be and Max and Grace were enjoying climbing all over Santa’s chair and looking at the decorations.  I was just loving being with my kids and eating up the excitement in their faces at expecting to see Santa.  It was almost better for me that he didn’t show up on time; Santa must really be magic because he drew out the best in my kids without even showing up.

We eventually left at 12:30 without seening Santa.  We treated ourselves to peppermint icecream and oreo cookie shakes since we were so disappointed (and hungry) after not seeing Santa.  Peppermint ice cream and oreo cookie shakes are the best treat in the world!  We’ll have to leave some out for Santa instead of cookies (and get him a 4xl jacket).  We were all in such a happy mood and Grace did a big Christmas dance for us.  This is the good life.

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