The Tables Have Turned

This (below) is my first Christmas.  Actually, it’s technically my second.  Because I was born three days before Christmas, my first Christmas was spent coming home from the hospital.  The hospital wrapped me in a giant red and white Christmas stocking that day.

Sadly, no one cared to take a photo of my homecoming or my stocking bunting.  I used to love to look at that stocking when I was a kid.  It was at the foot of Grandma’s bed in her cedar chest.  I always wished I could hang that by the chimney and that Santa would fill it with wonderful surprises.  And I was always disappointed when Grandma wouldn’t let me, and I had to hang a normal sized stocking instead.

Each year, I eagerly looked forward to sitting on Santa’s lap and telling him what I wanted.  I vividly remember just how exciting it was when Grandma and I went to the department store and we saw the red and white arrows leading to Santa’s chair.  (I always thought it looked more like a throne.)

Back then, they didn’t offer photos with Santa, so this is the only picture I have with me and the big guy.  (Considering my Grandma’s mentality of “don’t waste the film,” I’m actually surprised I even have this one.  Isn’t it funny that after her raising me with that mindset, I grew up to be a professional photographer?)

Now that Grandma’s ninety-five years old and lives in a nursing home, she can’t take me to sit on Santa’s lap anymore.  And now, instead of me sitting on Santa’s lap, I take photos of other children with the big guy.  Only I don’t just sit the child on his lap.  I like to do artistic photos with Santa, including having him read a story to the children and have cookies and milk with them.

My son, when he’s available, is actually who plays Santa for my studio now.  And on Christmas Day, when my kids and I go visit Grandma at the nursing home, Jeremy (begrudgingly) dresses as Santa to see his great-grandma.  And I just smile because I went from getting eagerly excited to go visit Santa to being happy that I gave birth to him.  And instead of Grandma taking me to see the big guy, I now take the big guy to her.

The tables certainly have turned!

My daughter, Stefani, my son, Jeremy (as Santa), and my Grandma Toby.

Talk to me:  Did you used to look forward to sitting on Santa’s lap?  Would you have allowed your child to hang the giant stocking on the fireplace?  Would you have taken a photo of your new baby in the giant stocking?

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40 thoughts on “The Tables Have Turned

  1. What a lovely memory! And what a privilege to be able to visit your grandma and bless her in turn. When I was a child my parents felt we shouldn’t be taught to believe in ‘fairy tales’; therefore I was the annoying kid in kindergarten who told all the others Father Christmas doesn’t really exist. Both my parents and I now believe, however, that children should have some fantasy in their lives. I look forward to Father Christmas traditions with my own kids, if I have any, one day.

    • Thank you! 🙂 I’ve known a few people who, when my kids were young, told me I was “lying” to them by telling them about Santa…and then they later had kids and they DID their their children there was a Santa. I agree, some fantasy is a good thing. 🙂

  2. Lovely post. Lovely pictures.
    Reminds me of “The Four Stages of Santa Claus”, which are:
    1. You believe in Santa Cl;aux
    2. You don’t believe in Santa Claus
    3. You become Santa Claus
    4. You look like Santa Claus

  3. Merry meowy Christmas to you and your family! What lovely pics! You have a wonderful family. 🙂

    As for your questions… Um, since we’re cats, we’ve never sat on Santa’s lap. But we’d LOVE to! 😉 And we sure would have allowed a kid to hang the giant stocking on the fireplace… (hoping Santa would fill it with catnip and treats and tuna… 😉 ). And yep, we sure would have taken a photo of the new baby in the giant stocking. Is there anything cuter than that? 🙂 Much love, Roxy & Tigerlino ❤

  4. Cute pics! It’s funny what your grandmother said about not wasting film because back then it was kind of a big deal. After using one roll, you’d have to get the pics developed and then buy another. So much has changed with the use of digital cameras!

  5. As ever a lovely story young Rachel. The thing is if you saw some of the Santa’s in these parts you’d understand when I say that there is no way I’d let a daughter of mine sit on the lap. Worse than the priesthood in my book! Have a spiffingly brilliant Christmas Day.

    • LOL! Here (in Florida) I’ve only ever seen a Santa with a fake beard, but some of my sisters have sent me photos of them with Santa in Oregon with a real beard, and I always thought those looked scary because living here in the heat, I’d never seen a real one like that before.

      • If you think about it it is a very strange career choice in this day and age when motives for wanting to do a particular job are under public scrutiny all the time – there’s probably a skit in that!

      • LOL! That’s true. I often wonder how it is that adults, men especially, (not to be sexist), end up doing TV shows like Sesame Street or Blue’s Clues. 🙂

    • Yeah, she’s lucky. 😉 LOL! I always say that when she’s with me and someone says she looks like me… It drives her crazy and I laugh so hard. The truth is, she’s her father’s twin. Thank you! 😀

  6. Really nice Rachel. Happy belated birthday from the one who will have a birthday on Friday. I was a couple of hours late for my first Christmas, but I sure made my Mom miserable that day. Not sure she has forgiven me for that one yet. And that was a day or 1.000.000 ago.

  7. I loved this story. Rachel, you’ve had quite a life already and the way you portray in your words and pictures is really quite special. I love that your take on Santa photos. Those are so wonderfully set up, and wow, how nice to be able to look at them as the years go by. Love the way you think, girl.

      • First, you get an A for understanding what the hell I was trying to say, despite the clear incongruity of my typing to thoughts! 😀 … and, Ha! I could only hope to have your level of creativity. I hope I catch some of your brain cells as you drop them off with age. 😉

      • LOL! You are too funny yourself! 😀 And don’t sell yourself short…. Your creativity blooms when you demonstrate how your passion for a cause brings so many people to your side. Only a creative person could find the way to get so many people in their corner for a cause the public may have been apathetic about before they felt your passion ignite. 🙂

  8. Lovely artistic Santa photos! I love how interactive Santa is in them. Wonderful. You do great work, my friend! You inspire me to write about my childhood “stocking, ” which was in the shape of pants! I was so embarrassed, until I realized they held twice as much! Merry Christmas!

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