Believe in magic.

I almost blew it a few different ways this weekend. After saving some work for the last minute, I had decided that Sunday would be a catch up/work day. When Hank poked his head around the bathroom door as I was brushing my teeth that morning, he had that ornery look in his eye as he whispered, “Let’s take the boys to see Santa today.”

Nope. Can’t go. I’m behind on some stuff.

Then I remembered that Sunday was it: the only day left with nothing big planned when we would all be together before Christmas. And that just would not do.

I grabbed clothes and raced downstairs yelling something about how I’d almost screwed up badly but Ozzy had let us know that the real Santa was coming and wasn’t Daddy awesome for suggesting it, and put your shoes on because we … are … outta here!

While the 6yo sang Christmas songs in the car, the 2yo was very, very quiet. He was remembering last year, or at least the picture from last year.

Merry christmas

But he bravely marched into Outdoor World with his wingmen, and this is one of the best Santa sighting spots we’ve come across.

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Even though we arrived at 10:01 a.m., we had to get the Santa Pass for noon. So we bummed around for a bit.

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It’s amazing how much fun you can have if you just take the time for it.

And also if you come armed with coffee.

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I find myself catching my breath when little clammy hands still reach out for help. He’ll be three soon, and he’s wearing size 4 stuff, which means he’ll be a teenager in three months and smell even worse than now.

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Sometimes, they might even share a sweet snuggle. These are few and far between.

Well. They’re in between Nerf gun wars and Beyblade battles, so they happen real often but not without a few punches or hugs sandwiched in there.

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This is quite possibly one of my favorite all time pictures with my youngest children, right down to the grizzly bear coming to eat my head.

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Ozzy the Elf was in ornery mode during the night. When the boys woke up Sunday morning, their noses had been painted red and we caught that elf with a paintbrush dipped in red fingerpaint. If you look closely, you can still see remnants of that on the tip of his nose.

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But not his. He couldn’t stand the tickley-ness of it and rubbed his paint off in the night. His hands were smeared with paint, but his nose? Clean as a whistle.

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Huh. They have the same look on their faces. Weird.

I have to admit, it’s a little hard trying to stay focused and contained when you know that Santa is in the building.

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We had snacks of milk and roasty toasty pecans and nearly melted from the anticipation.

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Finally, it was noon, and time to stand in the forever line to Santa’s Workshop.

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There was a carousel and some coloring books, video games and a movie playing. But we didn’t dare leave without at least one person still in line, holding our very special spot in a very special line to see a very special man.

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Finally, the little guy spotted him.

And it, was magic.

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He kept bolting out of line and running around to peek through the white fence. When he saw him, he nearly had a heart attack of happiness.

They put their nice sweaters back on, the ones bought especially for this meeting, and it was their turn.

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He was everything they had hoped for.

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He was every bit of magic they’ve been believing.

And he got their wishes for anything Nerf and a spiderman scooter just fine, thank you very much.

It was so nice to see you, real Santa. We’ll get your cookies and peppermint hot chocolate ready.