Who's got a beard that's long and white?
Santa's got a beard that's long and white.
Who makes Abby quake with fright?
Santa makes Abby quake with fright.
Long and white, quake with fright.
Must be Santa, must be Santa, must be Santa, Santa Claus.
After last year's experience, I decided that the thing to do this year's Christmas party was to firmly follow Abby's lead. There would be no encouragement to sit on Santa's lap; indeed I didn't even plan to ask her if she wanted to. I figured that if she had an interest, she'd let me know.
As it turns out, that was probably a good tactic. Sadly, it did not stop her from running onto the screened porch where Tom and I were sitting when Santa "arrived," terrified and in tears. We were able to comfort her quickly enough, but even as she watched her friends return from their visits with presents in hand, she could not be compelled to leave our side (not that I really pushed; I don't want to give her a complex over a fictional character after all).
However, Michael seemed intensely interested in the party guest, so while I held a sleeping Amelia and cuddled a nervous Abby, Tom brought him over to the big guy's lap.
Though hesitant at first, Michael suddenly got a gleam in his eye and a grin on his face. I'm unsure if it was a fascination with being in Santa's presence, or the realization that he was suddenly the center of attention, but he was certainly a pleased and excited little boy. He stayed put for a couple of minutes as cameras flashed around him and Santa quizzed him about what he wanted for Christmas. He even muttered something in reply, though Tom and I could not make out what it was.
In the end, he and Tom had the tough job of bringing over the presents from the exchange so that Abby would have one to open and not feel too left out.
Though she never would approach him, as Santa waved goodbye, Abby waved back- a fervent smile lighting up her face once again.