Adventures Of Fatherhood

In keeping with our annual tradition, here’s this year’s family photo taken with Santa.
This year, due to a little adult getaway to Florida, we missed our favorite Santa picture opportunity at Worcester Prep’s annual Christmas Bazaar. Therefore, this year we headed to the Winterfest of Lights in Ocean City, and I asked Santa if we could all get in the photo as a family. He was fine with it but stipulated in a jolly fashion that his only request was that I not be the one sitting on his lap.
Encounters with Santa over the years have been memorable and mixed to be certain with my kids.
Carson’s first experience with Santa was as a 5-week-old and he slept through the entire thing. He has taken visits with Santa in stride ever since and generally does not appear to be impressed. That’s consistent with his typical approach to life. These days the only things that truly impress him are our Elf’s creativity and Mickey Mouse. Santa is just not a big deal to him, so long as he is not required to sit on his lap. He wanted no part of that this year.
Beckett has adopted a laidback approach to Santa as well this year, saying often that it’s not the real Santa and just a representative of his from the North Pole. That makes me think if he was under the impression it was the “real” Santa Claus that it would be a much bigger deal.
At our house, we display photos with Santa every year, and we are now up to six. They are hilarious and special to compare from year to year, as each represents a snapshot in time of what our family life was like at that very moment.
The first year Beckett was just 7 months old and he basically sat on Santa’s lap bewildered in his black overalls featuring a holiday reindeer, of course. His weary-looking parents took him out of his car seat, placed him on Santa’s lap and Pam and I rushed to get in the photo with him. He didn’t show much excitement or fear.
The next year featured Beckett, 19 months at the time, and our newborn Carson, who slept the entire time. Beckett stared at the camera, wondering what the big deal was.
The next year Beckett had a major meltdown, giving us one of our most prized photographs. He had apparently reached the age when kids become scared of Santa. The picture featured in this space showed Beckett screaming his head off with his little fists clenched and eyes forced shut. Carson, meanwhile, sat with a blank stare on his face just taking it all in. The funniest part of the photo to me was Pam and I doing our best to ignore our screaming child and forcing a smile, despite our kid turning heads with his shrieks of agitation.
Two years ago, Beckett was thrilled to see Santa and couldn’t wait to tell Santa about his wish list, which was topped by a motorcycle of all things. Carson, too, decked out in a Santa sweater, merely sat in Santa’s lap with two fingers stuck in his mouth.
Last year the kids were actually excited for Santa and were incredibly amped. During that visit with Santa, the kids reversed their usual roles with Carson giggling up a storm from Mrs. Claus tickling him, and Beckett indicating this was serious business and appearing to take a shining to Santa’s pointer finger. He wanted to get to the part when he could make his requests. Pam was holding Carson’s hand down because he was apparently intent on giving his big brother some chin music, and I was just hoping the photographer was able to get at least one good shot so we could grow our collection of annual Santa photos.
At Winterfest this year, there was nothing terribly remarkable besides Carson adamantly refusing to be placed on Santa’s lap, while Beckett kicked back atop Santa as if he was a couch. The most memorable part of the Santa visit this year was hearing Beckett’s request for “222 Red Ryder BB guns for me and one for Carson.”
From my family to yours, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season.