Despite my catastrophic morning, we had a fun weekend filled with festive events. On Saturday, Jack and I went to the library for a few hours (I got books while he napped!) then we window-shopped in town and oggled at all the cute baby boutiques.

Now Sunday, that’s when all the fun happened: the three of us got up early, packed the car and ventured into the city to see none other than SANTA! Since we’re much closer to the big Macy’s in Herald Square than we are to an actual shopping mall, we Jeff, Jack in front of Macy'sdecided to attempt to visit Santaland and Jolly Old St. Nick on the 8th floor. If you’ve ever watched the Thanksgiving Day parade and happened to notice the tiny specks of people on the ground in between the gianormous floats, then you’ve seen how crowded that area can get. For those that don’t know, this Macy’s takes up an entire city block and is massive. Around Christmas time, it’s practically shoulder-to-shoulder but definitely an organized chaos. Since we’re so close and it’s Jack’s first Christmas, we decided to immerse ourselves headfirst into the craziness of the City at Christmas!

We got into the City bright and early. The City that Never Sleeps was still half asleep at 10am, so thankfully we found a parking spot! We made it to Macyoh the lines!‘s but judging by the flocks of people gawking at the window displays, we knew we weren’t the only ones dragging our child to Santaland. We boarded the rickety antique elevators and found our way to the 8th floor. Just beyond the Vera Wang place settings, there was a Christmas village strewn with garland, lights and shaded with mounds of fake snow. There were a number of fully-costumed post college aged elves. But surprisingly, they all greeted us with “Merry Christmas!” as we found our way to the line. Just around the Christmas village was the Christmas line— it was like nothing I’d ever seen before! The line was so long, it snaked around an empty office area that used to be the Human Resources Department as indicated by the aged signs. Because we were there a bit “earlier” there were a few more barriers than there were people. The elves guided us through the maze and sporadically chanted, “please move up and make sure there are no spaces in the line. The tighter the line, the faster it goes.” We listened to moms shout, “Stop picking your nose and putting it on your sister” and “put your shirt down, we’re in public!” It was definitely a magnified version for what lies ahead. Our day was straight out of David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries. But all I could do was smile from ear to ear!
Jack, Jeff in SantalandstartingtolooklikeChristmas 035the waving elf!waiting in line, coffee in hand
Amidst the shouting moms, crying kids and chanting elves, Jack, Jeff and I loved taking it all in. We smiled at the dancing stuffed bears, laughed at the talking trees and took as many photo ops as we could. The long line went surprisingly quick; I imagine it took as long as a regular mall Santa would’ve taken. It was like a whole lot of firsts for the 3 of us, rolled into one outing: Jack’s first visit to Santaland, our first opportunity to wait in a ridiculous long line as parents and enjoying a rite of passage as a new family.

OnThis way to Santace we finally got into Santaland, we were ushered into the “North Pole” where more elves directed us where to go. Santa’s digs were quite exclusive– he had a sitting stage, complete with a door way. And it clicked…all loud, Jeff asked, “So, is there more than one Santa?” The nice elf smirked, put a finger to her mouth as if she was silencing his theory and announced, “There’s only one Santa.”

So, we said our hellos to Santa, sat as a family and smiled for the picture. I wanted to get a smiley pic of Jack– who by the way, behaved the entire wait– and right as I handed hJack waiting in lineim over to the strange old man with white hair, just as I knew he would, Jack screamed with a vengeance! Either he’s really a mommy’s boy or he knows when we’re about to take ridiculous pictures of him.Jack hates Santa

Right after our pictures, we were handed a receipt and customer number. Santaland dropped us off into another line, except these elves were shouting, “NEXT CUSTOMER, PLEASE!” haha. Oh, the wonders of Christmas! We found our way to the next available teller/elf who helped us with our photos. We were directed to choose package A, B or C. Each package contained less than 10 pictures each and were in the $30-75. We ended up going with C, the cheapest of the 3!
If there was ever a place to experience Christmas and commercialism at its best, the biggest Macy’s in the world is the place to do it!The family and Santa

It’s not like he knows anything about Christmas yet or gets the significance of the showcase of lights, but it was so much fun reliving some of my childhood memories, except this time with (one of) the Santa(s) in NYC. Hopefully, one day, it’ll be a cool tale to tell Jack all about his first visit to meet Santa.

At santaland
and of course, the much more expensive shot with the Macy’s logo up top.