I have been pumping up Santa Clause to Annie for weeks. I didn’t want another Easter Bunny experience. “Santa is so great!” “He brings you presents!” “He’s nice, like a Bampa!” Every morning since Thanksgiving I’ve said, “Annie, soon we’re going to see Santa! Santa says ‘ho ho ho,’ I can’t wait to see Santa OH BOY!” My whole Get Annie Excited About Santa Plan™ was to make seeing Santa sound Really! Freaking! Awesome! It started to work because over the weekend Annie would see a picture or figurine or Santa and said, “Tanta! Oh oh oh!”

Yesterday I said, “Annie, do you want to go see Santa today?” My whole idea was to do a walk-by. We’d go to the mall, watch some of the other kids get their pictures taken with the bearded guy, then go home. Super easy no-pressure situation. But, I’d done a little too good a job getting Annie excited because she said, “TANTA! OH BOY!” Then ran into her room. When I followed her I discovered her in her closet saying, “Dress! Shoes!” The other part of my Get Annie Excited About Santa Plan™ was showing her the dress and shoes I’d picked out for her to wear. I knew that getting her excited about the clothes would work.

Since she was saying oh boy and jumping around and all of that, I decided to veer from the Get Annie Excited About Santa Plan™ and take her to get her picture taken ahead of schedule. I got her all dressed and put her in the car. On the drive over, she was alternating between singing and saying, “Annie! Tanta!” She was ready to go.

ready for Santa

She was running through the mall, cheering “yaaaay” and “oh boy” and basically acting like she’d just ingested 187 pounds of sugar. Then we took her on the escalator.

on the escalator

I wish you could hear the noise she was making when I took that picture. It was the most excited squeal I have ever heard.

Then we got to Santa’s lair, which looked exactly the same as last year. There was a baby boy taking his picture with Santa. It was perfect – a baby AND Santa. I was pretty sure Annie was going to lose her mind because she is currently obsessed with all things baby. Mike picked her up so she could see:

looking at Santa

Then he put her down so we could walk through Santa’s wonderland…


…she wasn’t into it. So we walked away for a little while. We didn’t want her to freak out or be scared of Santa. But after we were gone for a few minutes, Annie started saying, “Tanta? Where’d Tanta go?” We asked her if she wanted to go back and see Santa, and she said yes. So, back we went.

We walked through Santa’s wonderland and rounded the corner next to Santa. When she saw Santa she pulled away from Mike and reached for me. I was extremely pleased with this development. She and I stood there while Santa and I made small talk. Then he and I shook hands and hugged. Annie seemed chill, so I tried to put her down next to him.

not gonna have it

And yeah, she didn’t want that. SOOOOOOO. This happened:

Santa Claus 2011

Ho ho ho.