J and I took Kidlet to Steamworks Coffee & Tea Co. in north Minneapolis this afternoon to meet Father Christmas. (I love discovering things by following links on other blogs - this is a favorite on Cate's.) The owner assumes the exquisite persona of F.C. every year, and we scheduled a liesurely half hour visit with this gentle man. Kidlet was completely transfixed from the moment we walked in and saw his coat lying on the bench. You know how Wallace holds his hands up at his shoulders and shakes them back and forth when happy and/or excited? That was Kidlet as we waited for our visit. Giddy.
F.C. came into the coffee shop, immediately greeting Kidlet and donning his coat and hat. He has obviously developed a method of drawing children into the sitting - starting out at a distance, exploring the Christmas tree, and listening closely to their words. If F.C. had a fan club, I'd want to be the prez. This is a wonderful way for kids to meet him. Forget the mall, Macy's, and all other frantic memory mills that plop a child into a strange man's lap and expect a favorable response in two minutes. I was touched by this experience, to the point that I'd drive hours to visit him each year until Kidlet professes nonbelief - and maybe a few years beyond.
(So, Meema, how do you really feel about Father Christmas?)