The other night at the downtown Christmas lighting, little kid got up close to the real live Santa Claus for the first time that he remembers in his young life.
He was excited, but as we approached it was turning to shyness and uncertainty. I nudged him forward and he ran behind my leg and peeked out.
He watched tentatively while Big Kid perched on Santa's lap (for the first time willingly) and told him how he wanted Yo Gabba Gabba toys. Santa seemed perplexed, I don't think he's familiar with the awesomeness of DJ Lance and crew.
Finally, I asked little kid if he wanted to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas. I could tell he was truly conflicted between his fear of approaching this creepy looking guy and the fact that this creepy looking guy is responsible for his toy bounty Christmas morning.
Slowly, he walked up two of the five steps, bent forward at the waist and yelled "HOSSIES" and fled back down the steps and behind Mr. Ashley's leg, peeking out from behind him.
Santa looked up at me, confused and amused, as I confirmed that the mystery word shouted was "horseys".
"Oh, yes, you want horseys! We have lots of horseys at the North Pole this year!" Santa promised as little kid grinned happily, safely behind Mr. Ashley's leg.
It's always a surprise and disappointment that most kids don't like the Santa you wait in line to see. Our best Christmas card was with Big Kid at 1 years old, sitting on Santa's lap, screaming in terror, face red and wrinkled, mouth open in a bellow, Santa looking slightly scared too. Everybody loved that we used it, because almost everybody has one.
It's a pretty freaky concept. Not as bad as our possessed elf, but still, some guy who dresses weird breaking into your house on Christmas and leaving stuff after judging you all season--kind of tough for kids to swallow.