Sometimes after I drop Max off at school I take my little ones out for a little Mommy date. At Target, I know, I just pull my Uggs over my leggings and head on out to the Target with the Starbucks. Basically I am the most basic b in full basic heaven.
As Huck had a 9:30 am snack of milk and a snowman cookie and I nursed Piper (don’t worry, she was gently tucked under my basic blanket scarf) I noticed that Huck was slowly losing his mind with excitement; he was almost jumping out of his skin. I turned and saw the cause. Santa. This Target employee was male, of a certain age and physical build. He wearing the requisite Target red shirt, had long white hair and a white beard and he did indeed look like Santa. I personally always suspected Santa worked at Target, admit it you did too. Or at least had a crazy Target hook up.
Huck was nearly squeaking with excitement. Wiggling in his chair, his eyes lit up like lights on the tree. He was hyped up on vanilla milk, Christmas spirit and the ultimate celebrity sighting. Santa either hadn’t noticed or was uninterested in being Santa. The woman in line behind him offered to buy him his drink, she had noticed Huck and said pointedly to the man “Santa should never have to pay for his own drink!” She smiled and looked at Huck sharing the joy of catching Santa in the wild. I smiled at her, thankful. I was arguing with myself in head…how could he not play the part? One doesn’t just walk about looking like Santa and not BE Santa at Christmas time, I thought and then immediately I felt for him. It must be exhausting everyone thinking you look like Santa. Then again, he was a grown man who obviously cultivated and liked his look (as he should) and thus had a responsibility to play the part when called upon by a small child. I’m certain the angsty teens of the world had wearied him, as teens are want to do, but the tiny ones? Come on, Santa! Reindeer up!
I was beginning to despair, Huck was starting to be sad that Santa hadn’t seen him or worse, had seen him and didn’t care. I looked at the woman in line and she nodded encouragingly. I whispered to Huck that Santa must be undercover. He must be doing recon, checking out all the goodies that Target had, or maybe he was sneaking a peek at Huckleberry himself to make sure he was on the nice list, and reassured Huck that he was. I was trying everything to make it okay that Santa was less than 4 feet away from my little believer and Santa didn’t seem to care.
Which was his right…except he looks like Santa…oh the inner argument began again.
Santa collected his drink and began to make his way out of Starbucks, passing right past Huck. My heart fell in on itself. My poor kid. Then suddenly, Santa turned around, gave Huck the most conspiratorial wink that Santa ever winked and shhhhh’d a tiny shhhhh. It’s our secret was the message. And it was received loud and clear.
Like the Grinch, Huck’s heart grew three sizes right that second, threatening to burst out of his chest and showering us all with sparkly snowflakes.
Santa made his way back to work with a nice gingerbread latte and my undying gratitude.
I should have had faith in Santa. His little wink was better than if he had come over and boomed a Merry Christmas. It was perfect. Thank you #SantaFromTarget.
Yours was the best gift we have ever gotten from Target, and that is saying a lot.