Yesterday I woke up and what did I see? Snow! It didn't last long and it didn't stick but it's a bit of a Christmas miracle all the same. We never get snow here around this time of year (when you really want it to snow). With serious motivation to get out and about with the snow falling and not to fall behind on my holiday agenda we set off downtown to take a visit to Santaland, a.k.a. the basement of Macy's. Now when I was girl Santaland was on the 10th floor and boasted a monorail train ride which took you for a few spins around the cotton-ball filled ceiling. The lines were long, but so worth it. I felt a little sad my kids wouldn't get that same "A Christmas Story" experience (without the kick the down the slide of course), but I am pretty convinced that the Santa we visited was the real deal.
We walked through the strange animatronic Santaland to get to "the north pole" and before I realized we were at our destination Luca had ran ahead where I found him and Santa embraced in a moment of magic that immediately brought tears to my eyes (and my almost-15 year old sons, Fishers, eyes too, it was that stinking cute!). Santa held him close and rocked him in his arms for about a full minute, at least - it was long enough for me to break out my dlsr and adjust the settings to get that snapshot. Santa just snuggled him and let the moment be and play out - allowing Luca have what was obviously the best meeting in his life (look at that little hand holding Santa so tight!). He then turned his attention to Milo and gave him a jolly greeting and they all sang jingle bells together.
Once they sat on Santa's lap for the "what do you want for Christmas" conversation the first words out of their mouth was "I love you Santa" and there was no politically correct aversion to this honesty of emotion, such as a hearty "hohoho" or changing the subject back to what they want for Christmas, Santa in kind held them and said, "Oh, Santa loves you two so much! You are such wonderful children, you have made Santa so happy with your visit today." It was so sweet and genuine I am thinking he just might be the real Santa. Last year on our visit to (fake) Santa the pictures I captured were of him sleeping on his throne while we were waiting in line for his "break" to be over. Not this Santa, he had a twinkle in his eyes and a heart that I am pretty convinced could travel the globe in one evenings time. It completely warmed my heart not simply because he was so kind to my children but because I am sure he makes every child feel so special and wonderful and I imagine there are some that really need to know that they are loved and will long treasure that kind of love being so generously shown to them. My M+L are still all aglow with what was for sure the best day of their life and constantly reminding me that Santa loves them. So if you are looking for the real Santa Claus I am pretty sure he is hanging out here in Portland in the basement of Macy's. I definitely made sure to let the elves know what a wonderful Santa they had.
After our magical little visit the walk out ended with a letter station to write letters to Santa which M+L dictated for me after drawing pictures (very lightly in pencil) of what they want for christmas. We ended the adventure with a little shopping and walking to take in the city's tree and decorations. I love seeing the city all dressed-up, and I really love seeing my three boys holding hands whilst walking down the street. How does that song go? It's the most wonderful time of the year . . . I have had that line running through my head since. Four year olds make Christmas extra magical and wonderful me thinks.