Christmas is probably my most favorite time of year. I have always loved it. The lights, the music, the traditions, and spending time with family is something I look forward to. As a mom, it gets even more fun! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed introducing the season to my kids and establishing new traditions with my little family.
This year is the first year that Kallen has really understood what’s going on, and that’s been fun and exciting for all of us. He is more understanding of the concept of Santa, and has been excited to see him or, at least, talk about seeing him.
Last year, he was excited, mostly because we were excited, and when it came time to actually sit with Santa, he was willing but quickly decided he wasn’t a fan. I’ve never been a mom to make my kids do something they don’t like, just for my sake, so we scooped him right up, but my father in law happened to be ready with the camera and caught this gem. it definitely makes for a fun memory.
This year, as he understands more, we talked at length about how Santa is a very nice guy and that he is safe. This included making it clear that it was his choice if he wanted to talk to and/or sit with him. At the beginning of the month, we went to a Santa fly-in at the local airport. We got to see Santa and his elves fly in, and then we were able to enjoy breakfast with them. Most of the morning, Kallen made it clear he wasn’t going to talk to Santa, but changed his mind during the breakfast. Once we got to the front of the line (long lines and toddlers don’t mix) he was back to not wanting to talk to or sit with him. So Chris held him, while he told Santa what he wanted, and then we tried to get a picture……
As you can see, he was so not having it. But again, another memory
We had pretty much decided we were done trying for a good Santa picture, and would just wait to see what next year had in store. But then I found out that at White Oaks Mall, we could make a reservation to see Santa! That meant no long lines or wait times. We could schedule a specific time and just go. As the mom of young kids, that is SO helpful. You never know how long a line is going to be, and sometimes waiting 20 or 30 (or more) minutes, is just not happening with young kids. There is a $10 fee to schedule, but this is applied back towards a picture package. Totally worth not having to fight a line, if you ask me.
You can make your appointment here!
When we got there, the line was pretty long, it wrapped all around Santa’s village. I won’t lie, I was super glad we didn’t have to deal with the line, and totally felt VIP that we got to walk up to a special entrance, and be let right in. Kallen was still nervous about seeing Santa, but because we had our appointment slot, there wasn’t a rush to hurry up for the next person. Kallen got a chance to get to know him, and talk to him a little before even bringing up pictures. Kallen found out that Santa also has a Darth Vader costume (big deal around here!) and was very excited by that.
He still didn’t want to sit with Santa alone, so I sat with him while they chatted and took some pictures. Miss Cora quite enjoyed sitting with Santa, shes was just happy she was being held and talked to!
This guy was seriously the best Santa, too! Real beard, his suit was fantastic and he was genuinely a sweet guy. A friend of mine with older kids told me that he will even text their kids! As far as I’m concerned, this IS the real Santa. He really took his job seriously and that made a huge difference to me and my children.
After we were done talking, and we had picked out our pictures, Kal was able to write a letter to Santa. There was a station where he could write his letter (with mom’s help of course) all set up with special stationary, markers and crayons. We put the letter in a self addressed envelope, and Santa is going to hand write a letter back! How cool is this!? I know I would’ve been over the moon for this fantasy treatment as a kid. I’ll update with Kal’s reaction once we receive his reply!
As a side note, This station was accessible to those that were waiting in line. And while we didn’t have to wait, I am sure those features made line standing a little more bearable for those present.
Our visit with Santa was so much fun ! Kallen wore his reindeer ears the rest of the day, and told everyone that would listen all about his visit. We were able to get in some shopping too, which is always makes for an excellent Saturday! White Oaks mall has a very nice nursing lounge, which Cora and I definitely took advantage of. While I’m comfortable nursing just about anywhere, a comfy chair, a quiet space, and line-free changing table are always nice bonus when breaking from the hustle and bustle. There was even a sink and an outlet in there, if you needed to pump!
Its safe to say we will be back to visit Santa at White Oaks Mall in future years! I’ve already made a note on my Calendar, so I don’t forget to schedule an appointment. I hope you are able to take advantage of this time saver and I would love to hear your tips and tricks for making the holidays go smoothly!
**this post was sponsored, but all thoughts and honest opinions are mine**