Posted by: Jamie Stamm | December 16, 2008

What a difference two years makes

Anthony was just a few days shy of his first birthday when he met Santa for the first time. It was a traumatic – and thus short-lived – experience for my little one, who launched himself into my arms seconds after this photo was snapped.


Last year was much better, although still not what I had hoped for. Anthony was excited for the entire 45-minute wait to see Santa, but once it was his turn to climb up in the jolly old elf’s lap, his excitement faded and you could just imagine the thoughts going through his head.

“Who is this man? Why is he asking me questions? What’s the deal with the oversize ‘elf’ with a camera? Where’s my mama?”

But he didn’t cry and even allowed us to lift him up for a quick photo op.

(Last year’s Santa photo is supposed to be here, but, alas, my scanner has died. Just imagine Cera with a huge grin and Anthony with a skeptical look. Or, if you run into me anytime soon, ask to see my key chain. The photo is on it, but apparently not saved on my computer.)

But this year … well, this year was probably the best experience I will realize with both kids together. Because I know it won’t be long before Cera stops believing (She’s already asked if the mall Santa and the parade Santa were both the REAL Santa because she suspected neither was, so we explained that Santa can’t be everywhere at once, so sometimes he has helpers. She bought it – for now.) and because Anthony was not only enthusiastic about going to see Santa, he was determined to share his entire list of Christmas wishes.

Our wait was blissfully short, so Jerry held Anthony the entire time, talking to him about meeting Santa and giving him one last boost of confidence.

All was going well, and then the little girl right in front of us, who I would guess was 4, freaked out.

“No!” she cried as her dad tried to position her on Santa’s knee.

And “No!” again as Dad tried to sit down himself while still holding her.

After a few more attempts, the parents gave up and whisked their screaming child back into the cold.

I hoped the scene hadn’t spooked Ant. I bit my lip as Jerry set him down, but there was nothing to worry about. Ant marched right up to Santa, pulled himself up on his knee and stuck out four fingers, one for each of the presents he was requesting: a hockey helmet, gloves, stick and a net. With a serious look on his face, he began reciting his list.

There were no tears. There was no screaming. There was no fear.

Unfortunately, in the best photo I managed to snap, Cera’s Santa hat was falling off and Anthony was too busy talking to Santa to give me a smile, but in my mind, the memory of this year’s visit is picture perfect.




  1. I’m glad they had a good visit this year! 🙂

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