Visiting Santa, do you love it or is it a total let down?
Now I don’t know about you, but every year I go on a quest to give my children the very best ‘Father Christmas Experience’. I am like a mother slightly possessed, searching websites and local guides for events, reading review after review, justifying the, (often ridiculous!), cost to myself, because, well, it’s Santa baby! Then crossing everything and hoping for the best.
A lot of them have actually been quite a long drive away, but lured in by ‘magical’, ‘wonderful’ and the ‘most realistic Father Christmas’ we’ll often find ourselves bundled into the van, my husband muttering darkly about ‘more driving on his day off’, the children bickering before we hit the M5 and me, trying desperately to exude enough Christmas cheer for everyone…until the inevitable happens and I snap, leaving the atmosphere in the car frostier then any of the promised ‘Winter Wonderlands’ we’ve ever been to!
It is always a variation on the following scenario;
The children will be tired. This is because I did not book a slot in June and therefore all that was left was smack bang in the middle of nap time or too close to dinner or bed time. (A lack of food and/or sleep has a tendency to turn my children into crazed savages!) Every year I vow to book earlier. It is almost December and I’ve still not booked!
A massive queue. Always with the queuing. One was a queue to get on the ‘magic sled’ which ‘transported’ us (using a video screen which was pretty cool) to the ‘North Pole’ which was simply a queue on the other side. In a claustrophobic tunnel. Lined with polystyrene fake snow and lots and lots of figurines. My son, age 3, had tipped into vile, overtired mode by this point, (no reset button sadly), and was attempting to destroy the lot. (See savages point above.) We ended up having to hold him for the entirety of the queuing period while he attempted to break free.
Santa will either be brilliant, real beard, fancy suit, great actor, or truly awful. Cheap polyester suit and too few breaks to make him his usual jolly self. Either way, time with him will be very short, there’s a big queue don’t you know! The children either clam up in shyness or bounce on the chair next to him jabbering without pausing for breath. Overtiredness seems to make them chatty. Mind you, it doesn’t always go well, the first ever Santa photo we have is of my daughter on a terrified looking bearded one’s knee screaming her head off. She was not amused!
The present will be rubbish and probably break before we get home. Then the rest of the journey will be spent bemoaning the breakage of what is apparently the best toy in the whole world.
The children will fall asleep on the journey home and then refuse to go to bed until 10pm.
It will all be faintly disappointing.
Every year the same! I think I am hunting so desperately for the perfect visiting Santa experience because I know that the children believe for such a short time. I want to try and hold onto that magic for them and make it as special as possible. Without painfully crippling our bank balance in the process!!!!
I have actually found that they find it just as magical visiting Santa at the small local fairs. When it is someone’s Dad in a borrowed suit sitting in a fairy lit gazebo grotto. They never seem to catch on. Just like the whole Justin/Mr Tumble thing. How do they not notice for so long?! 😀
What are your thoughts on visiting Santa? Do you feel the same?