I really love Cabela’s, it’s an outdoor sporting good store and has so many neat things you could walk around for hours and not see them all. It even has a little food court so when you get hungry you can sit down and eat (elk burger anyone?). Not to mention the really big aquarium (the Kiddo really loves seeing the fish swim), and all the mounted game animals set into displays .
Of course one of the things I like best about them is that every year on the two weekends before Christmas they have Santa come and visit. He is a really great Santa, and they have him sitting back in the game room so that while families stand in line to see him they can look at the animals.
Yesterday was the first day that Santa was there and the Kiddo and I decided that we better go and see him. The weather was great and everybody was healthy. The trip/visit was great, the picture only okay. But I think it’s the story along with the picture that makes the visit priceless.
We waited in line… and waited… and waited. We were in line for an hour before we saw Santa. Somewhere in the middle, I tucked the Kiddo’s medical alert dog tag into his shirt. I thought he wouldn’t mind and that it might make for a cleaner picture when the time came.
By the time we got up to Santa the Kiddo had pulled it back out again. I asked him if he wanted it tucked or out and he said he likes it best out. The way he looks at it is that it’s his magic button, he doesn’t see it as anything else, and he likes it out where he can play with it.
So as he walked up Santa asked him what was on his tag. The Kiddo picked it up and showed him, and Santa read the front and back. Then he hoisted the Kiddo up into his lap..
He told the Kiddo that he was a great kid, strong and brave. That he knew he’d been a good kid this year and he was proud of him….
and he gave him the biggest snuggliest Santa bear hug*. Then he sat him back and asked him what he wanted for Christmas. The Kiddo was so excited he barely remembered his list of three things.
When they were done talking Santa gave him one more hug and a tickle, TWO candy canes and told him again what a great kid he is. As we walked away the kiddo had a very serious expression on his face, and I had to ask him a few times if he was okay (I expected bouncing giggles).
Turns out he was really overwhelmed at the extra attention Santa had paid him, and knowing that Santa was proud of him for being so big and strong. He asked if we could sit down and he ‘had’ to eat both his candy canes before he felt better. The whole drive home (20 minutes) he talked about how great Santa was, how excited he was that he remembered his three things, how he wished he’d remembered to ask him to get cupcake a present and how he can’t wait for Christmas!!
* the official Santa picture is the snuggly hug one, it’s the one the Cabela’s photographer took, Santa wasn’t ready and neither was Chance (neither of them knew the picture was being taken). The other three are the ones I took, they all turned out a little out of focus which is frustrated. But the Man likes the Cabela’s photo best anyway so it doesn’t really matter. I do too, I love that it’s an unplanned moment… so it’s the one we are sending out in Christmas cards this year.