Saturday morning we went to the company children's Christmas party at my husband's place of employment. They opened the large building, optimistically called the Club House, and quite a few families came together to let the littles have some fun.
The kids enjoyed Christmas cookies and Hawaiian Punch, then stood in line for a balloon animal from the clowns who made balloon animals. Because, you know, nothing says Christmas like high-fructose corn syrup, red dye #40 and...clowns.
The company had purchased gifts for all the children, which was a very generous and kind thing to do. To receive these gifts, though, we had to go through the line and sit on Santa's lap. My children have never done this before. Not because I've ever consciously decided to avoid the situation, but because it's just never really come up.
We've never done the whole Santa/Reindeer/Ho Ho Ho thing at our house, so the kids were underwhelmed and a tiny bit annoyed that they had to go along with the whole stitch-up to get presents. Of course, they could've taken a principled stand against it and not opened gifts, but it appears that their feelings were not so wounded that they weren't willing to accept free toys.
Both items were big hits, by the way. I applaud whoever made the choices for the various age designations. My friend, whose five year old daughter received her very first bikini-clad Barbie, may not quite agree.
Anyway, we were all sitting to enjoy our conversations and gifts when a little buzz started being passed almost telepathically from mother to mother throughout the large open building.
"Get the kids outside! Quick! Out to the playground! Santa's down!"
We all calmly got up, pretending that we suddenly couldn't resist the warm sunshine any longer.
"Hey kids! Let's go play on the playground! Look how nice it is outside!"
We all trooped out with the little ones, the building clearing of any human under five feet tall in the blink of an eye. A line of grown-ups stood up near the tree and chairs at the back of the building, hiding the red-suited mound of Santa, who had passed out. Apparently Santa had dressed for the Arctic North, rather than Southern Missouri.