GUIZERIX: Santa, Hotcakes and the things we do for our children at Christmastime

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2022

“Someone, stop that baby!”

I yelled across the Vicksburg Convention Center floor on Saturday as my precious (precocious) toddler sped away from me, a sparkly blue hula hoop clenched tightly in her little pork chop hands. I’d chased her from the front of the stage nearly to the back of the room, with her giggling and me panting in a fit of exhaustion fueled by Christmas cheer and the syrupy, spongy goodness that is McDonald’s hotcakes.

All I could see was a spriggly ponytail bobbing up and down, taunting me for being out of shape. Thankfully, a kindly elf scooped up my 2-year-old and deposited her at my feet, where she dramatically collapsed in defeat.

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Unfazed, I channeled my inner Fat Guy (not hard to do after the parental gauntlet I’d just run), unceremoniously tossed her over my shoulder and began the walk of shame back to the line to see Santa Claus.

Then, we repeated the process. Twice.

Saturday morning’s antics at the VCC Breakfast with Santa event were not for the faint of heart — or the sleep-deprived — yet here my husband and I were. And there our child was, seemingly hopped up on whatever stimulant the VCC must pipe through its air vents on days like this when 700 children are all in one place and turned loose.

We finally made it up to the Jolliest Elf and he listened intently as my child told him everything she wants for Christmas.

Just kidding — he was polite while she repeated pleasantries as I dictated them, in a fog of sensory overload.

She smiled and we were ushered off-stage and continued the merriment. We had to hug every inflatable decoration, “pat-pat” every reindeer and “boop” the noses of every snowman. She even got to sit on Queen Elsa’s lap, thanks to the Junior Auxiliary of Vicksburg.

We opted out of the many, many wonderful crafts offered for children at the event, as by that point we’d overextended ourselves.

As we began the slow walk back to our car — again stopping to coo at each individual decoration — I exchanged looks of solidarity with other brave parents who’d ventured to the front lines of Christmas Town. They, like I, seemed shellshocked as they shuffled to and fro, their arms extended in front of them as their children dragged them hither and thither.

But it all was worth it as we settled into our car, buckled up the baby, and my little angel said six words.

“Have so much fun! Love Santa!”

That, and the long nap we all took that afternoon, made it all worth it.