OUR VISIT WITH SANTA

The greatest surprise we, as parents, received during Sebastian's second meeting (and Gigi's first) with Santa Clause was his joy and excitement upon seeing the Jolly Old Elf. Santa arrived late (late!) in his red VW Jetta, an interesting choice of transport from the North Pole. He drove right up to a line of impatient children and their tired parents who passed the time checking phones and drowning cries with overpriced Chardonnay. The act of seeing Santa pull his red coat from the back seat of his car, fresh from the dry cleaners, no less, may have been enough to dull the magic, but not for Bashy. He pointed and gasped and began laughing with that wonderful laugh of his reserved for the most special of moments. Surprising to us because his first visit with Santa did not go well. He cried. He cried hard. To our knowledge, all he knew and remembered of Santa were tears and fears. But on this night, his face lit up with wonder. I suppose miracles can and do happen.

He also beamed at the tree, the decorations and wanted so badly to play with all the children present. Meanwhile, Gigi slept soundly in her stroller. She didn't take the best picture with Santa, but we suspect it was due to her interrupted nap. I don't blame her. By all measure, our children were among the finest and most well behaved at Tiny No. 5's little Christmas gathering. We never doubted this for a second! (Actually, we had huge doubts and feared that we'd be spending the ride home wiping noses, quieting screams and singing songs to cheer him up.) We hope this is the start of a wonderful holiday tradition and that he holds on to these feelings for as long as possible. We hope we never have to tell him the "truth" about Santa Clause, until he's ready, of course, and that he believes in a bit of magic. We also hope Santa gets his act together next year and beats the 610 traffic so the kids don't ask us why Santa's registration is out of date.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and to all a good night!   

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 When he first saw Santa. 

When he first saw Santa. 

 Deciding on what to order. 

Deciding on what to order. 

 This was 2 years ago!

This was 2 years ago!

 That gummy smile. 

That gummy smile. 

 Our first Christmas photo by Erica Parks. 

Our first Christmas photo by Erica Parks. 

 Two babies later. 

Two babies later. 

 Well 3 out of 4 people look great. Better luck next year Gigi.  

Well 3 out of 4 people look great. Better luck next year Gigi.  

My name is Jessica Almanza, I am a lifestyle photographer. I love documenting motherhood, travel, good food, and life's simple joys.