Sturgis Santa


Even Santa feels the need to arrange her hair.

It took me three years to drag Boobaby out to see Santa Claus. Call me crazy, but the thought of waiting an hour in line to pay extortionist rates for posed and washed-out photos seemed less than savory. 

So when we went down to the corner of O’Farrell and Stockton the other day, it wasn’t to see the department store Santa right inside, but instead to marvel at the cute puppies and kittens that the SPCA installs in Macy’s windows every year around this time, complete with homey displays for them to roam around in.


Santa, looking grim. I think he suddenly realized that Boo might never really smile.

But then there was Santa, just sitting there, shooting bull. Where I’d expected a queue, lascivious elves, and an escape slide along the lines of A Christmas Story, there was only a trio of beefy guys who looked like they’d been recruited from a weekend motorcycle club. The one who happened to have a full white beard also happened to be dressed in red and sitting on his throne. 

Boo, not having been warned about this little adventure, was reticent, but eventually agreed to pose after we assured her that without this photo, grandma would not give her anything for Christmas. (Grandmas who might be reading: we didn’t specify which grandma.)

So, finally, the elf with the coiled snakes tattoo took pictures while the one with a wild-west mustache explained that I’d have to find a Macy’s register to plunk down my more or less reasonable amount of cash. “Mrs. Claus won’t let us touch the money!” he explained, at which point he poked me in the ribs, one harried hubby to another. 

“Heh, heh,” I sympathized, wondering why this elf was hanging out with Mrs. Claus at all, and did Santa know? 

So what was it, then? Department store torture? Rite of passage? Or, like so many things, one more memory for the books?

You decide: