Thanks to a couple of enabling radio stations, I have been listening to Christmas music since it was still November. But I held off until last week to ask Alice what Santa says.
“Ha, ha, ho!” he says. And something that sounds a little like “Merry Christmas.”
On Saturday, our city held sort of a progressive tree lighting with ceremonies at a few of the big commercial centers. We met some friends at the one in our neighborhood and almost missed it when we walked off 10 minutes before the countdown to buy hot chocolates and beignets.
I asked Alice if she wanted to sit with Santa. She said, “no.”
I asked if she wanted to wave to him, and she was interested, so we waited in line, and when it was our turn, we stood five feet away from his Santa throne and waved.
“You don’t want to bring her up here?” he asked.
“Nope,” I said. “She just wants to say hello, if that’s OK.”
“Are you sure? You could sit with her and have someone else take the picture.”
“Thanks, but we’re OK. We’re about done, actually.”
A little while later, after everyone had a turn and things were winding down, Santa got up off his chair and walked over toward Alice.
She howled and jumped into David’s lap.