“I’m Sorry Ma’am, We Only Take Reservations”; Having to Schedule to See Santa

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Ruth Kramer

by Ruth Kramer ’18, Co-Editor-In-Chief

It’s cheesy, but it’s true. Over Winter Break, my family and I went to see Santa, just like we do every year. We take a photo after our annual day at the nail salon. But this year we were greeted by an unexpected surprise. We had to make a reservation to see Santa Claus in the Kenwood mall. And he was booked until 6 pm. Now, I was very confused by this, as I had never made an appointment to see Santa before, but now it was necessary if we wanted to see the big guy. Fortunately, the “first-come-first-serve” rule still counted so we worked our way into the line. And just like that our photo was taken and we were on our way.

Now, overall, this is not something I would usually get upset about. I understand that lines get a little too long and sometimes these things can be fire hazards (as that was the reason we had to make a reservation, according to the helpful elf working with Santa Claus.) But I also didn’t understand it because making a reservation to see Santa takes away the magic of seeing the cheerful fat man in a bright red suit. Don’t get me wrong, Santa’s great, but the struggle to see him? That was the problem.

Though it may seem small, scheduling a visit with St. Nick is just another way that magic is stolen from the holidays. In December, we wish for snow even if we know it will be 60 degrees outside and we hope to get that one present we’ve wanted all year even though there is no way it will ever end up in our possession. So, in these times, we cling harder to the moments that still make this time of year so special, so magical. I suppose there are always other options than seeing a mall Santa; perhaps meeting one at a tree plantation or dressing up as Jolly Kris Kringle yourself. But what is a parent supposed to do when their child wants nothing more than to see Santa Claus and they can’t because their mom or dad didn’t know to call ahead and schedule 2 minutes with Mr. Claus? Leave with a heartbroken child? Wiggle their way into line and hope they don’t get caught? Though the idea of making reservations for Santa was done to solve a few problems, it appears to have created even more in the process.

At the end of the day, this isn’t a devastating issue that affects millions around the world. Santa will still be in the mall, it just may be a little harder to see him, but he’ll still be there. And that’s what counts, right? That he’s there. The magic is still there, it’s just a little harder to tap into. And as long as the magic of the holidays still exists in the world and in the people around us, then there is nothing to worry about. We just have to keep trying. So, I advise you to, just as Santa’s elf advised me to, schedule that visit with Santa. Call ahead, make a plan, be ready to go. Take the picture and share your heart’s desire. Enjoy the magic of the holidays and all of its special moments in any and all ways you can. And being able to do that is far better than any inconvenience at the mall.