Since we’ll be traveling for most of the month of December, I’m not investing a lot of time in decorating our apartment for Christmas. And if I’m honest, I’m pretty happy to have an excuse that lets me off the hook.
But I still want to celebrate the fact that it’s Jameson first Christmas, and I want to work on establishing some fun, even if small, traditions for us as a family. Making a plan to meet Santa seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
The most popular Santa in town is hands down the big man at Macy’s. But I’d heard story after story of the incredibly long lines, and I knew I had no chance of convincing Jordan to step foot in Macy’s during the Christmas season. We made a trip last year, and I’m pretty sure he was a few minutes away from throwing himself down one of the spiral staircases.
So after some looking on the interwebs, I learned that there’s a Santa at ABC Carpet & Home, and you can take his photo with him for free (just bring your own camera). This seemed brilliant — a Santa in one of my favorite home decor stores, channeling the victorian-age Santa of old. Kind of bougie, I admit, but not your typical red suit Santa with the garland in the background, which, hey, I like.We made our way down to the Flatiron District immediately after church on Sunday and got into the line that curved around the block. We made friends with the people standing in front of us and behind us. There were even some grown women in line who had plans of snapping pics with Santa, having heard how legit he was. Jameson was a champ, hanging in his ergo baby carrier and chewing on his teething ring. The window displays at ABC Carpet & Home had my imagination captured. And this unseasonably warm weather we’ve been getting meant we stood in line without coats. Crazy!As we approached Santa, I desperately hoped the hour-plus in line wouldn’t end with Jameson crying his eyes out.
Jordan readied the camera, I dropped Jameson in Santa’s lap, and it was go time. I dare you to tell me this isn’t the realest Santa you’ve ever seen in your life!And Jameson did great. Not necessarily certain of what was going on, but happy enough to get a lollipop from Santa. “Gimme that, big man!”I wanted to wander through the aisles of the store, daydreaming about items I can’t afford, but Jordan quickly packed up the camera rushed me out (look at those floors and pillows and aqua houses and gold ornaments. geek!). It’s worth noting that one of the rugs hanging behind Santa had a tag with the measly price of $18,000.We capped off our trip downtown with an early dinner at Boqueria (a restaurant I first fell in love with in D.C.) and coffee and donuts from Dough Doughnuts (my weaknessssss)!
And I headed home patting myself on the back for having aced my parenting duty for the day of doing something Christmas-y with my child. In some ways I want to do so much to make Jameson’s first Christmas special, so I put all of this pressure on myself that’s unrealistic, and I ultimately feel like giving up altogether when I realize I don’t have the time or resources. I’m slowly learning to find the balance — to pick a few small things here or there, and to not be worried about them coming out perfectly or getting photos that can be placed on stylishly designed Christmas cards mailed to 100 people. Who am I kidding, 500 people.
I’m learning that our holiday traditions, like so many other things, should be done out of a place of desire and joy, not out of a sense of obligation driven by the email promotions arriving from our favorite stores or idyllic photos posted on social media. Because ultimately, Jameson isn’t impressed with the big stuff. He’s unimpressed with Santa, unimpressed by expensive decorations, and more interested in the plastic wrap that’s around the lollipop than the candy itself.
His fascination with the simple things in life is giving me permission to go easy on myself. I think this will make this Christmas pretty merry.