Like a Bowl Full of Retail

by Brad Nelson12/22/16

It’s Christmas, and this is internet blogging, so allow me to make a snow mountain out of an ice crystal.

I went to the mall with my elder brother and his two children late this morning. The mission was to see Santa Claus. The little girl (2-1/2) sat on his lap and got her photo taken. The elder boy (4) was fine (like his uncle) keeping his distance from the big red man.

I don’t know why, but I never wanted anything to do with sitting on Santa Claus’ lap when I was a child (although a few of his elves that I saw at the mall, now that might be another story). I was very shy as a child. So I understood the four-year-old boy and I held his hand in line while his little sister sat on Santa’s lap and got her picture taken.

To her credit (in my way of thinking), she didn’t smile. The photographer elf chick (a shutter-pusher, at most…this was by no means a professional) couldn’t get her to smile. And pointing at the lens and saying “Smile” didn’t seem to be a technique that was working.

So the end product, while adorable in its own way, looks more like a mug shot with a red-suited prison guard. And all for $48.00. And, really, I was not impressed by this whole excursion other than sharing some time with family — and fellow retailers. We struck up a conversation with a sociable lady in front of us who had her 6-month-old in a carriage along with his older (4?) brother who, she was proud to note, had been in that same carriage in his time. I commented that, indeed, it appeared to be a very good and sturdy carriage.

When it was this lady’s turn, they placed her infant in Santa’s arms. I was close enough now to Santa to get a proper look at the right jolly old elf, although this description is more in spite of himself. The first words I heard out of Saint Nick were, “Miss, you can’t take pictures inside the rope line. You have to move outside.” The mother of the child that “Santa” was holding told the jolly old elf that she had been told that it was okay to use her cell phone camera.

I commented on this to my brother, with words that rhymed with something other than “jolly old elf.” But Ron simply said, “Well, it’s how they make their money, taking the pictures.” And I replied, “Of course. I forgot. That’s what Christmas is all about.”

God bless and praise those people who give of themselves with no expectation of anything in return but a smile, if even that. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good buy.”


Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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6 Responses to Like a Bowl Full of Retail

  1. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    God bless and praise those people who give of themselves with no expectation of anything in return but a smile, if even that. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good buy.”

    What are you, a communist?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Other than power-hungry vandals, social fundamentalists, and haters of truth, I do think part of the call of Communism is disgust with cold, often ugly, soul-sucking crass commercialism. Ho ho ho.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    There’s a family photo of me and my 2 siblings with Santa. It apparently was taken when I was about 1,and of course I have no memory of it. The Santa people would want to visit would be Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street.

  3. Glenn Fairman says:

    A man named Randy from my wife’s old church came by this afternoon dressed as Santa to visit and cheer my wife. He looks remarkably the part and does this for about 40 schools during the season…..gratis. People invariably give him things in appreciation and much of it goes to Mexico for a children’s mission. The smile on my wife’s face was priceless.

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