(Yes, that is my child sprawled out)
Twenty long minutes later, Santa wrapped it up *snort* and we asked Bella what she thought of him. After tapping the side of her mouth with her finger while in thought, she decided she likes him. We took her to where he was taking pictures and let her watch other kids get their pics. She got excited at the idea and we picked a number (great idea, mall people) for our turn.
A grandmother was taking pictures of her 7 grandkids and it was humorous to watch her corral them. She finally got them all lined up and ready to click, then who appears at the end of the line, poised and ready? My daughter. As I coaxed her away, she had big tears rolling down her cheeks as she tried to explain that she was just trying to help!
She did very well with Santa who was sweet and kind to her. He held her tiny hand in his wrinkly old one and spoke quietly to her. She smiled on cue for the camera and her eyes lit up when Santa asked if she'd like toys for Christmas. It was a very sweet moment and I'm glad they let us use our own cameras. She had a difficult time saying goodbye to her new friend, but got over it once she found the tree-shaped sucker in the goody bag from Santa's elf.
Bella was completely exhausted at the end of our little adventure. She'd given money to the Salvation Army, she'd watched the quartet play "Jingle Bells", she shared a cup of hot cocoa with her mama and talked endlessly about Santa Clause.I used to think it was a silly tradition we Americans have, the commercialism of Santa and all..but after this weekend, I see how sweet and uplifting it can be.