My family has many traditions during Christmas. When our son was born, we were excited to add a new one--taking a picture with Santa Claus. We waited until he was 5 years old for his first photo with jolly old St Nick. We wanted him to be aware what was going on. We had seen too many babies bursting into tears as their mothers handed them off to a large, bearded stranger dressed in red.
The Christmas our son turned 5, we dashed down to the Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas after picking him up from kindergarten. We stood in the long line with all of the other parents and children. As we edged closer to the front of the line, my husband removed our son's jacket. To his horror, our son's shirt was stained from top to bottom. Obviously, he enjoyed his lunch so much he decided to wear half of it.
"Can you believe this?" my husband lamented.
"Yes," I said with a deadpan look. "He's five, that's what five year old's do. They are messy eaters!"
"He can't have his picture taken like this! Listen, we have someone ahead of us. If I hurry, I can run over to one of the stores here and buy him another shirt."
I looked down at our son and noticed that he was wearing a long sleeved plain navy t-shirt. The collar was the same in the front as well as in the back. An idea suddenly hit me.
"We don't have to buy a new shirt, let's do this," I offered, drawing our son closer. I quickly slipped off his shirt, turned it around and put it back on. Now, the clean side of his shirt was picture ready--the dry stained riddled side was hidden behind him.
My husband looked at him and said, "I guess that's okay, but he's still wearing his shirt backwards."
"No one can tell!" I countered, as the "elf" walked our son over to Santa.
The picture shows him siting on Santa's lap with a big smile and a clean appearing shirt. The Santa picture was saved!
A new Christmas tradition was born with one caveat--Santa pictures had to be taken well before lunch!