Earlier this month, my daughter and I squeezed in a mother-daughter chat, which can sometimes be quite tricky with her busy schedule of raising seven children. We have always tried to call at least once a week with extra calls here and there, and with messages and photos sent on Facebook to help bridge the miles between us. Although she moved home to Colorado, we still have over 200 miles that separate us.
During our conversation, the laughing mom described Jaxon’s visit with Santa this year. The three-year-old was not impressed, and he was not happy with his chat with the jolly elf. Afterwards, when Leslie questioned her son about his visit with Santa, her son’s face fell. According to my grandson, Santa told him that he would bring him candy for Christmas. Jaxon told his mama, “I really didn’t want candy. If I want candy, you can get it for me. I really just wanted a Santa Spiderman hat.” His old one had lost the furry ball that comes with all Santa hats.
His disappointment in the chubby guy reminded me of my daughter, and one of her earlier conversations with Santa when she was about three and a half at the time. During that Christmas season, I took Leslie to visit Santa at one of the local stores in a nearby town. My little girl wore a red velvet dress with white lace. She had on white tights and shiny, black Mary Janes. Her blonde curls framed her face, and I was excited to witness her interaction with old St. Nick.
It was 1984 and Cabbage Patch dolls were still all the rage. Stores could not keep up with the demand, and people went nuts trying to find them. And Leslie had her heart set on a Cabbage Patch Doll.
As soon as it was Leslie’s turn to visit with Santa, my smiling girl quickly walked up to him, and the jolly guy picked her up and sat her on his lap. Smiling, he asked her what she wanted for Christmas. When she told him that she wanted a Cabbage Patch Doll, the old guy didn’t know how to respond. He stuttered and stammered and tried to explain to my three-year-old that the elves were behind at the North Pole, and he wasn’t sure if they would have time to make enough dolls for the Christmas season.
Frowning, Leslie slid off his lap, placed her hands on her hips and told Santa, “Well, never mind. I already told my grammie what I wanted for Christmas.” And off she marched, disgusted with the whole Santa Claus affair. Santa and the people in line chuckled at my daughter’s outburst, for she had all the faith in the world that her grammie would come through.
Santa leaned over and whispered, “I hope her grandma does have one.”
I just nodded in return, hoping that grammie did too although I had my doubts since Cabbage Patch Dolls were harder to find than a black cat in a coal cellar.
Since we were in town, we stopped to visit grammie. After Leslie told her all the news about Santa, and how he wasn’t much help in the toy department, she told her grandmother what she had said to Santa. My mother laughed with her girl when she heard Leslie had told Santa how it was. This grandmother adored her first grandchild and would do just about anything to make her granddaughter smile. Once Leslie went off to find her uncles, mom took me to her room and closed the door. Opening the closet, she pulled out a bag and inside was a Cabbage Patch Doll with blonde hair. Grammie had come through once again, and she was quite pleased with the fact that she had just upped Santa Claus!
The following Christmas I asked my daughter if she wanted to visit Santa, and she politely replied, “No thanks. I already told my grammie what I wanted.”
At that point, I knew life with my mother would be difficult. She had reached the pinnacle of grandmotherdom. And she let everyone know that she had beat out Santa, once and for all, and my ornery mother didn’t let anyone forget it either!