The Lexingtonienne



It’s that time of year again: THE ANNUAL VISIT WITH SANTA.

So far Eleanora has had two Santa visits. On the first visit she was little enough to just go with it:

EBD Santa 3

The second visit she wasn’t thrilled about but complied anyway:


Seeing as we were already 2-0 with the Santa visits, I felt like a fool hoping to get a good Santa photo for a third year in a row. Add to the mix a 6-month-old, and we were really playing with fire.

Charlotte at 6 months

On top of all this, Eleanora has been in a bashful phase lately. When she meets someone new, she buries her face in my shoulder and says, “I’m feeling just a little bit shy.” So I was aware that she might Monchichi herself onto me the moment we set sight on the Big Guy… and even worse, that I might have to be in the Santa photo myself, holding her.

Hannah Eleanora Charlotte November 2013

I decided to prepare her. First we looked at her Santa photos from years past. “Santa is a really nice guy,” I would say. Then I clued her into the fact that Santa equals big money. “You know, Santa brings LOTS of toys, but only if you tell him what you want. Otherwise, he won’t know.”

Next, we practiced what she would say to Santa. Together we compiled her asking list: bathtub crayons, a trumpet, a horse Eleanora can ride on, and “a big Bullseye {“Bullseye” is a horse} that Jessie and Woody can ride on.” That last one was all Eleanora. Homegirl is a huge Toy Story fan. She owns 4 Woodys, 2 Buzzes, and one each of all the secondary and tertiary characters. But her favorite character is far and away Jessie – the cowgirl.

Eleanora owns two Jessies. One is a small plastic figurine (aka “Little Jessie”)…

Little Jessie

… and the other is a big floppy doll with a string that you pull to make her say funny phrases from the movie (aka “Big Jessie”).

Big Jessie

Eleanora – whose obsession with Toy Story is rivaled only by her newfound interest in human anatomy – points out on a daily basis that Little Jessie “has boobs in there,” while Big Jessie “doesn’t have any boobs.” (She is right, by the way.)

So as we were getting into the car to go see Santa, and I was coaching her like a stage mom about what she was going to say (“What are you going to tell Santa? Remember? Some bathtub crayons, a horse…”), Eleanora added, “AND I’M GOING TO ASK SANTA TO BRING SOME BOOBS FOR BIG JESSIE.”

Gulp. What?

“Okie doke!” I said, turning on the car, trying to sound all no-big-deal about it. Because the facts were these:
1) I had already gotten lucky with the Santa photo 2 years in a row.
2) Ergo, it was unlikely that all would go right this year as well.
3) If you think about it, it’s a pretty altruistic ask. Poor flat-chested Big Jessie. Surely Santa could work a Christmas miracle and bring her some double Ds.

When we arrived at the mall, Eleanora (as expected) got a little nervous with anticipation.

Waiting to see Santa. Eleanora and Charlotte Christmas 2013

Then there was a really fun (i.e. distracting in a good way) ride up the glass elevator to the Level 2 Santa.

We had to wait a few minutes for our turn, and when we got up to see The Man, Santa was ON POINT, y’all. He looked at Charlotte and said, “Ah! A new addition to the Nice List. Now, Charlotte, we need to talk about sleeping through the night. But not to worry; you’re still on the Nice List.”

Charlotte 5 months

Then, in honor of Eleanora’s Italian great-grandmother and namesake, Santa sang a Christmas carol to Eleanora in Italian. He also told us what the reindeer like to eat (pretzels), where he starts out on Christmas Eve (Guam), and what HE would like for Christmas this year (a Mr. Potato Head).

He gently guided Eleanora into telling him what was on her Christmas list. And she was mesmerized enough that she hit all the highlights (the bathtub crayons, the riding horse) and – hallelujah – totally forgot to ask him for Jessie’s boobs.

And then we snapped this killer photo. IT WAS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!

Santa Eleanora Charlotte 2013

As we left, Eleanora waved farewell and said, “Merry Christmas, Santa!” as sweetly as Gretel Von Trapp. As we rode the glass elevator back down to the main mall level, Hubba Bubba and I high-fived each other for hitting the Santa Photo Jackpot for the third year in a row.

Next year? We’re toast.

Ho ho ho,


P.S. Happiest Birthday wishes to my precious Eleanora on this, your 3rd birthday. How beautiful you make this life, my little love.


  • Comment by Cheryl Pennebaker Leidecker — December 12, 2013 @ 11:42 am

    Love your writing Hannah. So glad things worked out with Santa. You never know with little ones. So wonderful. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. love, cheryl

  • Comment by Maggie Duffy — December 12, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

    This is priceless, Hannah … are SO good and the pictures of the little loveys are precious. please give Eleanora a birthday hug and kiss from Binnie and Nana !!

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