Stine’s Lines: Santa’s here, but what about the cookies?


Penny Stine is a staff writer for Real Estate Weekly. When she’s not writing about other people’s houses, she likes to find a little humor in life and share it with readers. She welcomes your comments at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Last weekend, my husband and I took our grandson to see Santa’s arrival downtown. We’d been playing at Lincoln Park for almost an hour before we headed downtown, which meant that Taylor and I were warm and toasty, since he likes to tell his granny to climb on the monkey bars with him and I like to oblige. My husband, however, prefers not to squeeze his shoulders through the tunnel on the slide, so he’d gotten a bit chilly standing on the ground watching us climb up and down the slide.

That meant that my husband played the part of the typical grandparent:

“I don’t want him to get cold. Here, put on your big coat, Taylor. Let’s wrap him in the blanket. Oh, your poor hands are freezing…”

It was 50 degrees earlier in the day, and while it’s true that temperatures fell as the sun went down and we were hoping to see Santa, we weren’t visiting him at the North Pole. Taylor refused his winter parka, but humored us and allowed us to tuck a blanket around him in the stroller once we got out of the car.

We arrived early to stake out a good spot. While Grandpa stayed to secure our excellent view of the festivities with Taylor and the stroller, I went in search of hot cocoa and cookies. My quest was successful, but alas, my husband’s was not.

While I was off procuring treats, a television news crew had swooped in and set up shop right in front of us, blocking our view of the stage where the Tonettes and ultimately Santa, were about to appear. Meanwhile, half the population of the Grand Valley had arrived, making it impossible to find a better spot to see elsewhere.

The Tonettes took to the stage, and I squatted down next to the stroller to keep my grandson company and see what he could see. About half a hat and an occasional nose. That didn’t seem to bother him, since Taylor was still working on his cookie. He did have an awesome view of the TV reporter, however, who was oblivious to the dozens of people who were unable to see through her.

I work in media, so I understand that she and her crew had a job to do and needed a good place. But did the reporter have to talk throughout the performance? She didn’t just talk for the few seconds the camera was running, but chatted to the woman holding the camera almost the entire time. Could they really be discussing camera angles and story lines? A disgruntled guy next to me got up and asked her not to block the view, but she refused. I didn’t hear the entire conversation, so I don’t know if he asked her to shut up, too, but at least she did zip it for the last few songs.

Meanwhile, back at the stroller, the atmosphere had lost its charm. I don’t think Taylor was as annoyed by the TV reporter as some of us were, but the consumption of the cookie was complete, and the promise of Santa’s anticipated arrival wasn’t good enough.

Luckily, the cocoa and cookie fundraiser was still in full swing, so I was able to secure more cookies with another small donation. Grandpa worried that Taylor wouldn’t want his dinner later, but I’m a grandma now and don’t have to worry about appropriate intakes of green vegetables. It’s now my sacred duty and privilege to offer cookies rather than spinach.

Finally, the big moment arrived. Santa appeared on the roof, flicked the switch for the lights and came down to the ground via a utility company bucket. Reindeer would have been more appropriate, but there wasn’t room for them to make a safe landing on the ground.

We didn’t stay to visit with Santa; Taylor’s only two and a half and more likely to protest sitting on a stranger’s lap than pull out a list of desired toys. Besides, the cookies were gone and he knew there was play-dough and leftover pie at granny’s house. A guy’s gotta have his priorities.


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