Story 22/24: On one of the last times I went to the mall with Nathan to get his picture taken with Santa Claus, we waited in line for over twenty minutes.
Lorrin was off with friends running around the Fashion Place Mall while Nate, Bry, and I were in line at “Santa’s Workshop.”
Twenty minutes is not a long wait to visit Old Saint Nick. However, it is unusual that there was no movement what so ever.
Usually, a kid sits on Santa’s lap. Sometimes they cooperate, sometimes they cry. The kid poses for a quick picture, is handed a candy cane, and the next child takes their place. It’s not a complicated process. It’s not a long one, either.
After we hadn’t moved for a while, I got out of line and walked to the front to see what was going on—had Santa gone to lunch? Were his elves on a smoke break? Was some greedy kid asking for everything including the moon?
I got to the beginning of the line and stood outside the perimeter and at a distance behind the photographer. I couldn’t see much other than Santa was on his throne. A woman was inside Santa’s Workshop calling out directions to whoever was sitting on the old man’s lap.
“Come on Minnie, smile for momma! Look over here, Minnie. Look at momma and smile!”
Santa looked irritated. The camera guy sighed out loud and loudly using a squeaky toy to get Minnie’s attention.
“What’s going on?” I asked an elf standing guard outside the entrance.
“That lady’s trying to get her dog to smile at the camera,” she said. “We’re going to be here all night.”
“We’ve been standing in line for twenty minutes for a dog?” I asked.
The bells on the elf’s hat rang as her head bobbed up and down.
“The dog’s not going to smile,” I said. “Can’t you have a time limit?”
“No. The lady’s paying for a photograph so we can’t say anything to her,” the elf said.
I stomped back down the line muttering. When I got to my husband and son, I told them what was going on. The people around me listened in. We got out of line, and so did bunch of others.
The next year, my family and I walked back toward Santa’s Village once again. Santa wasn’t there. He was at lunch. On the outside of the gate was a sign posted.
Apparently, Santa wasn’t in the mood to sit with dogs anymore. I didn’t blame him!