Back story: After talking it over, we decided this was the only decent weekend to make it happen, so I did a quick envelope switcheroo, and began to mentally prepare myself for the havoc of a Saturday with Santa. This preparation apparently included the following delusion: "Santa opens 2 hours before the mall does. If we get there a little before everything opens and put our name on the list right away, we should be able to get in and out pretty quickly."
Apparently arriving at 9:30 was also the idea of at least 50 other families, and signing in immediately gave us an 11:30 return time to see Santa. Le sigh.
Here's what we did to kill the time:
- Dropped off letters to be mailed to the North Pole.
- Waited in line for hot chocolate.
- Waited in line for snacks.
- Took pictures of kids running.
- Took pictures of kids next to trees.
- Took pictures of kids next to poinsettias.
- Took pictures of kids next to garland.
- Found a locker to dump our outerwear.
- Visited the bathroom 3 times.
- Visited Lego store.
- Watched Big J run - FOR AN HOUR.
Mailing a Letter to Santa. They had a really neat setup where the kids can post a letter & it gets sucked up a long tube to the top of the mall (3 stories up) & "sent" to Santa. The Postmaster was really great & made each child feel special as they handed over their precious lists.
In the inner sanctum, waiting to see Santa.
The Big Man himself. J has been SO EXCITED to see Santa, but we weren't sure what would happen when he saw him up close. Sis went first, then J joined her & he did great! Spoke up loud & clear, and there was no apprehension at all.
I really liked that we had the option to take our own pictures (as many as we wanted) for just a few dollars (as opposed to the package deal for almost $40!).
A successful day.