What Dylan didn't know was that Santa almost didn't make it. I happened to be a little early to the daycare Christmas party and used the opportunity to drive on up the road to check out the snow that had been piling up all day. A little past Eileen's I spotted my dad's truck. I slowed and saw Dad, wearing the full Santa suit, trying to squeeze through the beer-can window of his truck. Most small children can't fit through a beer-can window, so all I saw was a big red-suited butt and black boots, flailing wildly as Dad tried to reach the keys he'd locked inside. I wish I'd had a camera.
We got the truck unlocked and made it to the party, but Santa had exerted himself breaking into his "sleigh," and Eileen had the fire roaring. Fortunately, the kids couldn't see the beads of sweat dripping beneath Santa's beard and thought he was out of breath because he just flew in from the North Pole.
Fast forward one year. Dylan vs. Santa was as epic as Ali vs. Frazier. At least Frazier took one from Ali. Dylan didn't stand a chance against Greg-Santa (horrifying!) or Callahan-Santa (new rule: anyone in a Santa suit must be over 30). So this year we strode into the holiday season carefully. Would there be tears? Fisticuffs? Arrests?
Dylan got an early dose of Santa at the Holiday Faire a few weeks ago. I had to admit, this was the best Santa I'd ever seen. He was the real deal and Dylan appreciated the effort this guy made to authenticate himself. She sat on his lap, with Grady, smiled, and told him she wanted a teddy-bear and a baby (of which she already has several hundred, apiece). We took lots of photos and high-fived: the Santa curse was over.