Szechuan Santa

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Okay, I’d like to say that the Santa at The Americana in Glendale has a great beard but is a huge asshole. On Sunday morning, T and I put on our best Christmas sweaters (no one appreciates baby Christmas sweaters quite like a Jew) and steeled ourselves for the mall Santa experience, which was every bit as sucky as I feared it would be, if a bit more surreal.

We got there before Santa and dutifully waited in line. Santa made an entrance as if he was Elvis or something, flanked by two heavily made-up elves who looked like they should be starring in the kind of movie that my husband hides under the couch. He wore this giant gold SANTA belt buckle that reminded me of the kind of belts we used to wear to clubs in the early nineties, except those said things like SLUT or FUCK.

T hung in there until we got to the front of the line, at which point he decided that he wanted to play with the balls on the tree as if they were, well, balls. When that mission was thwarted, T asked if we could turn on the fan. All this kid needs to be content is a ceiling fan. But Santa refused to turn on the fan even for three seconds, stating that it made him sick. Really.

Well, T saw right through the faux fur suit and into Santa’s black heart. He looked Santa dead in the face and screamed at the top of his lungs. He wouldn’t sit on Santa’s lap, so we opted for the tricycle. This shot was the miraculous smile, but there is a better one that I’m saving for the holiday cards. T and I were both in tears by the end of the experience.

My neighbor Suzanne posed an interesting Santa dilemma. She has a really smart four-year-old who is young enough to still believe in Santa but old enough to read the labels that say, “Made in China.” How does one explain the fact that Santa’s been outsourcing because he doesn’t want to deal with the Elves’ Union?

2 Responses to 'Szechuan Santa'

  1. Claire says:

    The photos will outlive your memories. At least in my experience (but I have no memory). So maybe someday you’ll look at this one and say, “Aw, Tariku looks so happy! What a nice day that must have been! And what a sweet-faced Santa.” Have you read Sedaris’ essay about being a Santa’s elf?

  2. Brandy Black says:

    Great post. A couple things- first of all- I found out that if you are a club member of The Grove or the Americana, you can make an appointment to see Santa (shhh don’t tell too many people) so we didn’t wait at all this year, it was amazing. We went to the Grove and your santa (although grumpy) looks much better than ours.

    I love T for screaming at the top of his lungs and I love the “made in China” story- Children amaze me!

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