On November 1, my phone beeped at me in Christmas magic. “Buy train tickets,” it dutifully reminded me. And that’s when we scoured the calendar for optimum enchantment — one week before the big day, when spirits are high and hearts are full and the world twinkles in shades of red and green. That’s when we booked our train ride for a meet-and-greet with Santa and looked forward to the sugary candy canes we’d devour while singing “Jingle Bells” with bellies full of hot chocolate and hearts full of cheer.
And on December 18, everything was as I anticipated — the excitement, the lights, the magic. Everything was going according to plan, except for one small unforeseen glitch — the germs. Because on December 18, we found ourselves hovering over the tissues while looking on through hazy eyes at the lights all aglow.
“Do you think we should stay home?” I asked David through sneezes and snot bubbled. “No,” he said in yuletide certainty, “let’s do this!”
His enthusiasm propelled me forward, but I should have known something was amiss the moment my perfectly planned Christmas chicken roast finished too late for us to eat.
So, we arrived at Santa’s Village with tummies full of Del Taco burritos and noses full of snot.
And it was there, with remnants of Judah’s fine Mexican cuisine smeared across my sweater, that the sentiments began.
“Let’s recreate the picture!” I said to my husband as he looked on with trepidation. But what can I say? I’m the ultimate optimist.
And that was the first indication of what was happening. My perfect Christmas-y plans were looking a little more like this…
But, finally, we had a chance to make it all better! Surely our train to the North Pole would quell the case of the toddler calamity that was taking place. So, when it was our turn to catch the train, we excitedly made our way over. And that’s when we were met with people… lots and lots of people whose tickets displayed the very same departure time.
But just as we arrived to wait in another line to snap a shot with Santa, the clock struck bedtime and cries fell upon that wintery land. And that’s when we took stock of our options. We glanced at Santa and then at the line and then at the toddler screaming away in our arms.
And that’s about the time that we bolted.
So, there you have it — the story of how we didn’t meet Santa Claus.