Saturday, December 17, 2011

Claus at the mall

“Real Santa”

    I’m proud to say that my countdown for Christmas can now officially begin. I had to wait for Kay and me to make our trip to the mall. Happened yesterday. I’m festive as all get out.

    Truth be told (and shouldn’t it be?) I actually enjoy visiting the mall during the Christmas Season. I act like I don’t just to keep my brothers from scorning me. The brothers do good scorn. – “So, you enjoy the crowds, decorations and Santy Clause? Okay nobody talk to him. Go ahead and hit him, Al.” – Since Mom passed away, those boys aren’t afraid of anything. It’s been open season on Mark.
    Had they seen me at the mall yesterday they would’ve really let me have it. I couldn’t help it. I saw the real Santa Clause. He even waved at me.

I don’t know how The Woodlands Mall managed to book the real Santa, but he was there all right. No mistaking. The guy on the corner in the red suit and waving the big apartment opening sign? No Santa. Not close.

At the Mall, Santa wasn’t even wearing his awkward, thick, red jacket. And, he was hatless… ‘cause he was indoors and sitting next to a fireplace! Why would the real Santa wear a coat and hat indoors?

At the Mall, Santa wore a plaid shirt and baggy pants with suspenders. His hair is really white and his beard is curly and long. Not so thick as on a Santa actor.

And, there was none of this “ho, ho, ho!” stuff. There was no acting like Santa . This guy was the real deal. The kids could tell right off. There was not a crying kid in sight. Most of ‘em were even reaching for him. I’ve never seen that before. And, they’d hug him before leaving. He was like a universal Grandpa figure.

Oh, and like I said he saw me in the crowd, and waved. At me. I didn’t know how to react, but Kay motioned at him to see if it was all right for her to take his picture with her cell phone. He nodded big and then his best Santa pose. Big smile, hand up in a wave.

I know I’m carrying on a bit much over this. At no time in my life do I ever remember believing in Santa. And, never did I even contemplate sitting on the lap of the Sears and Roebuck Santa in Pasadena. That was one scary-looking dude. And, with that deep “ho,ho,ho” voice, it was like a giant monster clown was trying to grab you. What youngster wouldn’t want that?

The real Santa is nothing like that. In fact, if the line hadn’t been so long, a framed eight by ten of Kay sitting in his lap would be hanging over our mantel.

Bottom line, take your kid or spouse to The Woodlands Mall to see Santa. I imagine the real Santa doesn’t work a complete shift, so they may have a stand-in for him. You’ll know the real one when you see him, though.

Oh, and word of warning. As you’re making your way to Santa, be very careful not to catch the eye of the salespeople at the kiosks. You know those booths of specialty stuff? If someone tries to hand you a free sample of soap or cosmetics, don’t take it. If you do, they own you.

Most, if not all, of the beauty product salespeople are French or East European. Maybe Norwegian. Hard for me to tell. The girls are beautiful as all get out, and they speak fast and quiet in broken English. They’re sirens with soap. If you take a sample you’ll feel like a real chump if you don’t buy something. There is one Slovakian lovely who thinks I’m the mayor of Chumpville.

Santa loves me, though. Waved at me, he did. I think he could tell that I had been nice all year. Most of the year. Maybe a week or two in May.

NOTE: Kay's phone photo of Santa didn't take. Spooky. Further proof that this guy is the real deal. 


Click on pic below to view review of Mi Cocina restaurant in The Woodlands.

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