Monday, December 7, 2009

The Second Noel

My father used to tell me that Christmas would regain its excitement for me once I had kids. I assumed he was referring to the inevitable foot races against the great unwashed for the last Torture-Me Elmo doll at the Germiest Place on Earth, but now that we're starting to gear up for the holiday with Finn, I've gotta admit that it's pretty exciting.

This is our second Christmas, but the first was a total loss so I'm not counting it. Finn was totally underwhelmed by the empty boxes that we wrapped for him and he didn't even give the tree much of a second glance. He was too busy blogging about what a terrible job the city was doing clearing the streets during Snowpocalypse. This year is going to be different. This year, we'll actually put something in the boxes for him to be underwhelmed by.

We decided to kick off the holiday season by traveling up to Christmas Creek with the Spiros to cut our own tree for the first time. This being only the second Christmas that we've ever spent in Seattle, we've always just hit an in-city lot, so we were pretty excited. Plus, we planned for Finn's first Santa experience this year and word on the street is that the Santa at Christmas Creek is the real deal. Spiro says that Macy's tries every year to pull him away.

Spiro also believes that the Gray Top tourist buses are spying on him, so take that for what it's worth.

Christmas Creek is about 45 minutes outside Seattle, so we filled up on breakfast from the local cafe for the ride. As an aside, the local cafe is a place that believes that Gummi Bears are not only an appropriate garnish for Mickey Mouse pancakes, but they also give you a container to go, in case your kid isn't hovering far enough above the ground already. We hit the tree farm right as Finn was about to explode out of his car seat and headed straight for Santa.

The cabin where Santa was blessing the masses was tiny, but warm. Or at least it looked warm from where we were standing in line, out in the freezing cold. By the time we finally were allowed inside, Finn was vibrating nicely. We were pumped up for an epic first Santa experience and were eagerly practicing our "ho ho ho"'s.

Rather than just narrate the Santa intro, I'll let the pictures do the talking. I'm sure you know how this is going to play out.

Finally at the front of the line, Kitty put Finn up on Santa's lap.

Note the downward gaze. Finn wouldn't meet the big man's eyes and just stared straight ahead at the floor. This didn't afford us the photo op that we were looking for, so Kitty "adjusted" his head.

Santa thought this was great, but Finn... not so much. It only took a second before...

We scooped Finn up and headed out into the tree farm, but the damage was apparently lasting - whether it was Santa or the Gummi Bears is unclear (smart money is on a combo of both) - and the meltdown continued outside, where we quickly bailed on the cut-our-own plan, bought a pre-cut tree by the cashier, threw it on the roof of the car and tore out of there.

Note Santa's concern. I hope we didn't hurt his feelings. He took it all in stride, though he did seem a little puzzled when I offered a genuine thanks for making my son cry. You see, we really needed a Christmas card pic.

Does that make us bad people?

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