Every year we go to The Grove in LA to get our picture taken with Santa.
And yes, I do mean our picture because it is a family affair.
The whole thing is really a bit of a laugh.
For one thing, our kids have been told Santa isn't real. (don't hate--read about it here)
Also, the boys have been terrified of Santa for years, but still want to see him every year, but won't sit with him unless we're with them.
Therefore, we now have a collection of family photos with Santa.
Because I love a good tradition, I decided to make the yearly photo with Santa something special.
I actually despise most malls.
Especially at Christmas.
They are full of frantic people, searching for stuff that no one needs, from stores that sell mostly junk, just so everyone can cross one more thing off their list.
I know. Call me Scrooge.
But I don't mind The Grove.
There's a trolley.
It's kind of an LA spectacle.
There's tons of great people watching.
There are moms doing stroller workouts in the middle of the mall.
You have to laugh at a lot of it.
We don't even go in any of the stores. (although the siren call of Anthropologie is often too strong to resist)
But the kids love Santa and his reindeer flying through the air.
Santa's house is impressive and Santa is really nice. They don't hustle you out after you've waited in line for an hour either.
Even though they're scared, the kids really like to see him.
James was so worried we'd miss our turn, he couldn't even look at the camera.
But do you know the BEST part about going to The Grove to see Santa?
Well, The Grove is next to the Original Farmer's Market, one of my favorite places.
Part of the seeing Santa tradition is getting donuts.
They're the best.
And they give you your coffee in a ceramic cup. (you have to ask)
They make giant, green dinosaur donuts that the boys get every year.
Lilly gets a pink kitty cat.
I like to eat at Loteria.
I contemplate a different place every time, and I can never do it.
I really like to eat at Loteria.
Then we go to the toy store. The kids show us the toys they dream of.
We ride the trolley.
We leave before it gets too crowded.
It is a pretty fun way to spend a Saturday morning in December.
I hope we're still doing it when they're teenagers.
I wonder who'll be sitting on Santa's lap then?
The Eskridge Photo With Santa 2010
Maybe next year I'll have my act together for a whole retrospective. They're all pretty funny.