When was the last time you went to see Santa? Growing up (and apparently the tradition started my first Christmas), my parents would take me and my sister into New York City the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving to visit Santa Claus at Macy’s Santaland. I have many memories of getting up early, riding the PATH train up to the 33rdStreet station, and waiting on line to give Santa my list of wants for Christmas. We’d make lists with pictures of what we wanted (and my dad would sneakily get them back from Santa to leave under the tree with our gifts). And after we saw Santa and got our pictures taken, we would visit Holiday Lane to get our annual Christmas ornament, which resulted in quite the collection of ornaments for a tree when I have a place to put one up.
(My seven-foot pre-lit tree, which was used in 2008 and 2009, is currently in storage in NJ, with my 108 gallon tubs of Christmas decorations, until I have a place to store them all in VA.)
This year was the first time in nearly a dozen years that I relived those childhood memories. At 8:00 AM or so, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I joined my parents, my sister, brother-in-law, and nephews on a journey to Macy’s Santaland. Some things have changed, rather than riding the PATH, we drove into the city. And Santaland is not quite the vision of elves building toys that I remember from my youth. There are fewer elves in the displays, it’s now a “train ride”, and the toys “being built” are a little more commercial. But even so, it was really special to see my nephews light up when they saw Santa. Tommy asked Santa for “lots of toys”. Afterwards, we went to Holiday Lane for our 2011 ornaments and then hit a local diner for some breakfast before heading back to jersey.
So, the family tradition continues. I’m happy that I was able to be a part of it. And I’m looking forward to being able to share in this tradition for as many years to come as possible.