A child’s love/hate relationship with Santa- part 1

My first impression of Santa Claus was not a positive one.   I have the photo AND the story as it happened from my parents (it was one of those ‘feel good’ stories that was repeated to the family at every holiday gathering)    We lived in Colorado at the time and my parents thought it would be cute to take me to the local “Santa’s Workshop” to get a picture with the Jolly Old Elf.   I was dressed in my Christmas…. um.. best?    Just wait until you see this picture,  it was the early 1970’s so honestly I don’t know WHAT I was dressed in!  From my mom and dad would tell me,  as soon as Santa walked over to me, I freaked out.    Whether it was the beard,   the “ho ho ho!”   the suit or the fact that my dad kept trying to set me on his lap I was NOT having it!  My parents said they tried a long time to get me to calm down even just long enough for a photo,  but nope! Not me!   In my defense and from my point of view this was a ‘stranger danger!”    I wasn’t one of those little kids who would just leave the safety bubble of my parents to engage total strangers in public.  There are thousands of pictures on the internet that show kids reacting the same way I did back in 1972.  I have to give the poor guy who was Santa kudos though because he really tried to get me to accept him.   Again, from what my parents told me,   he was very patient, remained very calm and tried painstakingly to get this cherished Christmas photo memory to become a reality for my parents.   The final straw  was I was offered a cookie,  which you see in the picture I am holding.   It’s apparent that I accepted the cookie but every time he tried to get close to me I would cry and scream in terror.    The end result is this picture.   My father holding me in his arms looking stellar like Mike Brady from the Brady Bunch,  me dressed in whatever the hell it is I’m dressed in (couch material?)  with a cookie in my hand and no doubt red faced with tears streaming down my cheeks  (thank goodness the pictures were black and white back then)    I’m looking over my shoulder with a pure look of fear at the poor Santa Claus who had to jump into the frame of the photo just as it *clicked* to make this picture FINALLY a success,  well… sort of.  santaah!

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