I didn’t grow up with Santa Claus. Being raised Catholic meant that we focused more on the Birth of Jesus as the reason for Christmas. Add to that, coming from an Asian country, the idea of a white bearded man dressed in red and bearing gifts was a bit foreign. Plus we didn’t have chimneys.
When my eldest son was born, we made sure he had all the traditional Christmas trappings – Jesus born in a manger, and yes, Santa Claus. Our house in Southern New Jersey had a chimney so surely Santa had a way into our home to deliver presents – and to get to the cookies we had lovingly baked from scratch. We prepared reindeer food out of oats and tinsel and scattered it outside the front door. We even had a picture taken with Santa at the mall!
I stuck Christmas cards and photos onto the fridge and one day my then 2.5 y.o. son observed that the Santa in his photos was different from the Santa in Amanda’s photo. That was tricky. I explained that these were “assistant Santas” and that the real Santa was in the North Pole. He wrote a letter to Santa but I don’t think my explanation really satisfied him. It seems he went on “believing” for our sake and naturally, for the presents. I didn’t think he “believed” again until his baby brother was born two years later. It was as if Santa became “real” again and sharing the customs and traditions with his brother brought this mystery back to life.
So if you are looking to get a photo with the Man around Orange County one of these days, you could go to the mall or you could check out one of these cool events.
Take the night train and meet Santa. At the Irvine Park Railroad, activities include riding the Christmas train, storytime with Mrs. Claus, games, and more.
This event is in Long Beach but my fabulous friends Laura and Tracy organized it and it’s for a good cause. It’s more intimate than the other Santa sightings – with lots of activities beyond the usual photo op. The fundraiser is Sunday, December 6th from 6 – 8 PM. 100% proceeds go to Breast Cancer Angels. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.AnEveningwithSanta.com.
An Evening with Santa
Another cool Santa sighting will be at the Orange County Market Place @ the Fairgrounds. On Saturday November 28th, Santa Claus will arrive in a red 1929 Ford Roadster assisted by “Twinkie the Elf.” There will also be a toy and clothing drive that weekend. Bring a new toy or new clothing (unwrapped) for free admission, and a free 4X6″ photo with Santa on day of your visit.
Of course, if you want to meet the man and the Mouse, hop on over to Disneyland and head on over to Big Thunder Ranch to hang out with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
And with that I leave you with this little ditty.