Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Surviving Santaland

I feel I wasn't totally transparent in yesterday's post. I'm not just one of those parents who perpetuates the Santa myth. I am a Santa nut. Evidence of this is the fact that I go to Santaland at Macy's every year. Since I've had four Christmases under my belt, I've gotten the Santaland experience to an exact science and know how to get in and out --from front door of Macy's to paying for our picture -- in under an hour. I'm not going to TELL you of course. If I did, the forumla would be ruined because the tens of thousands of readers I have who always heed my sagacious advice would rush Santaland during this crowd-less window of oppurtunity. So it will just be my little secret. But hey, I'm no grinch. I'll offer some gems of wisdom in the form of telling you what NOT to do. Get ready folks -- its a cautionary tale. As seen in the Fall '07 issue of the Park Slope Reader . . .


By Nicole Caccavo Kear

I really, really love Christmas. But not all Christmases everywhere. I love Christmas in New York. Sad to say, yuletide festivities in all other places are destined to be sub-par. I know this for certain because since tying the knot, I’ve spent every other Christmas with my in-laws in Tennessee, and though they do a bang-up job which includes wild bear meat, red velvet cake and an evergreen dragged directly out of the backyard, how could they compete with the lighting extravaganza of Dyker Heights? The windows of Saks Fifth Avenue? The Rockefeller tree? But there is one respect in which my in-laws are lucky not to spend the holiday season in New York. No one in East Tennessee has to wait five hours to see Santa at Macy’s.

Neither do I of course. There’s no Santaland imperative. There is, in fact, a million reasons not to go, besides the ridiculous line—it represents the worst side of Christmas—the tacky, mass consumerism part. But I’ve been a Santaland junkie since I was two and my parents took me for my inaugural visit. I can’t disabuse myself of the notion that it’s the best, the Rolls Royce of mall Santas. Natalie Wood went there, I went there, and my kids will go to, no matter how much we all have to suffer in the process. Yes, when it comes to the Santaland habit, I’m a lost cause. But there may be hope for others out there, which is why I’ve fashioned a primer, a kind of Santaland for Dummies. Learn from my mistakes, ye faithful.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Santaland

  1. Don’t go.
  2. If you must go, make it after Christmas. Santa may not be there but neither will the crowds.
  3. If you must go before Christmas, take a sedative.
  4. Don’t be duped into optimism after getting to the front of the line for the special elevator that goes Express to Santaland! This just takes you to the real line.
  5. Don’t curse loudly when, upon seeing the line, you realize the enormity of your mistake.
  6. Don’t ask the elf to repeat herself three times when she tells you the wait is five hours.
  7. Don’t publicly berate your child when, after reaching the front of the line five hours later, he refuses to sit on Santa’s lap. Don’t yell, “Are you crazy? What’s the matter with you? Mommy’s been waiting ALL DAY!”
  8. Don’t make the rest of the line wait as you bribe, threaten, cajole, beg and order your child to “Get on Santa’s Lap Right Now!”
  9. Don’t put the picture of your child, bawling hysterically on Santa’s lap, on next year’s Christmas card.
  10. If all else fails, move to East Tennessee.

*As the blogger behind Seasonal Crap pointed out, yo'll find no respite from tacky, over-the-top mass consumerism in East Tennessee. So don't move to Pigeon Forge expecting that. What I meant was, you won't have to wait five hours to get it. The fruits of your commercialisic zeal will be delivered to you within minutes!!!