In the second batch of photos we received of our daughter (8 days after she was born) she was in Santa’s arms.
As secular Jews we found this a little funny, but coupled with the fact she appeared to be sleeping whilst holding up her finger as if to say I’m number one!! we decided the entire thing was hilarious.
And a tradition was born.
A tradition that most likely would never have been launched without that photo sent from Guatemala.
She and I, like many
Jewtemalans and their CrAzY mothers mothers and daughters, make the trek to take a yearly photo with Santa.
Unlike most duos, however, there exist a few rules.
First, We cannot plan or prepare for the Santa photo.
No hair brushing. No proper apparel. Always spontaneous.
Second, except for 2 Christmases we didn’t live here, the Santa photo must be taken at a specific Austin mall.
(a corollary to this is we spend hours afterward hanging in the food court
debating if it was the same Santa as previous years.)
One year she insisted, while wearing her pajamas as a dress, it was definitely time take the photo:
Absolutely no idea what we’d been planning to do this day before she spontaneously announced: Santa time!
Movie at the mall, perhaps?
This was the Holiday of the Bad Bangs Experience (those suckers took ages to grow out.).
Thankfully she was 4 (& apparently really happy to see Santa) so she didn’t care…
She was around two in this photo and we were most definitely at the mall just killing time.
I was not yet confident in my mothering abilities or, apparently, my ability to shove my Jewish glutes onto Santa’s lap.
I love how I’m wearing my diaper bag backpack IN the photo and she’s wearing her Wait what?! I have no idea what’s happening! expression.
Pre-food court snack.
Back in the DAY when Austin was warm in the winter.
This picture is one of my faves because it simply looks so awkward.
The (finger quote) Santa (unF.Q.) neither looked like Father Christmas nor seemed to want to be there.
This one was all the child’s idea. Charming and I were none too enthused.
Another Oakland Christmas season.
The picture looks “normal.” The experience was anything but.
(I think I was excited because she made Spontaneous Santa Day one where I could photo document the fact I DO sometimes wear
And then there’s this one.
Just a few days ago.
My favorite, favorite one yet and one which gives me hope our tradition will continue as she grows up.
I’m still not certain which of us is Rory and which is Lorelai (can we both be Lorelai?!) but I hold my breath each season and wonder if this is the one she’ll either not suggest we do photos or say NO when I make the suggestion.
For one more year at least our Spontaneous Santa tradition continues.
This year (same mall. definitely different Santa) was one of the quirkiest yet.
Freshly hennaed hands.
Santa whispering to us how his wife, Mrs. Claus, is Jewish and is nudging him to change his name to Joe Hanukkah.
Photographer shouting: SILLY ONE! as we sat down (check out Santa’s hands) and still being utterly shocked when this is the photo we actually chose to purchase:
Today, not for the first time, I wish blogs allowed for photo-comments.
I’d love to see images of your oddest, happiest, messiest, silliest, CHRISTMASiest experience with Santa in the comments below.