Sunday brought snow and Santa to our little family. Only one of these two things did Cecile enjoy. Flakes began to fall mid-morning, and we were loaded into the car and headed to Mad Fox Brewery in Falls Church by noon. When we got there, the place was already packed with thirsty parents and their Santa-seeking kids. Jon, Cecile, and I sidled up to the bar, ordered a few pints and some lunch, and waited for the Big Man in Red to appear. Cecile was in a terrific mood, until ...
... she spotted St. Nick across the room. And once she spotted him ho-ho-ho-ing to all the good little girls and boys crowding around him, her gaze never left his jolly ol' face. It wasn't long before Santa came to say hello to C ... She. Was. Terrified.
I took her and comforted her, but she never quite eased up. (We, on the other hand, were very at ease, as by the time Kris Kringle made his debut we were sipping on pint #2.) She insisted on being held until Santa was out of sight. But before long three of us got in line to go see Santa. Snow continued the fall outside, so we might as well finish our drinks and check the box with the jolly old elf, we figured. This Santa, after all, was a good Santa; not at all what you'd expect from a brewery, frankly. He had a real beard, jingle bells adorned his charcoal-colored boots, and, indeed, when he laughed, his little round belly shook. Perhaps he had had a pint of beer, but he was quite merry! Besides, all the other children were enamored with him, and he took great care to make sure they were comfortable before placing them on his knee. And then gave them his full attention as they ran through their Christmas wish lists. It was precious.
^^Santa was catching the attention of small passerby :)^^
Last year Cecile snoozed through her entire Santa visit. This year, well, let's just say Santa didn't survive her stranger anxiety. Lucky for us, Santa was (of course!) a very patient man. He got up, asked us to sit on his plush chair, and snuck far enough away so that we could get one decent family shot. How great!
^^OK, so maybe the shot turned out a touch creepy, but I think it's still great Santa tried :) :) ^^
Cecile recovered quickly from her visit with Santa. There were stickers and candy canes to play with, after all, and snow continued to fall from the skies, which Cecile found fascinating. Perhaps we'll have better luck with next year's Santa. But if not--and I feel a little guilty saying this, but--I actually quite like her Santa cry face. Such a pout!