My 3-year-old daughter is finally warming up to Santa.
Twice in the last month, we’ve had a Santa encounter that only barely exceeds the year before.
It’s progress, I suppose.
From throwing a screaming fit on his lap at age 1, Addy graduated to tolerating me to stand next to our downtown Lee’s Summit Santa, while holding her, at age 2.
Now at 3, she gets that she is supposed to tell Santa what it is she "wants" for Christmas. Thing is, she’s smart enough to know she doesn’t have to go sit on his lap for that information to make it to him.
During Santa’s visit to downtown a few weeks ago, Addy stood a comfortable 10 feet away from jolly ol’ Saint Nick and spoke just loud enough that he could hear her Christmas wish.
No photo opp with Santa was necessary for her. She got her request in, got a candy cane and got out of Cameron’s Home Furnishings (after dada spent a few dollars).
Consequently, we ran into Santa Claus several more times that afternoon. Each viewing virtually spun Addy around my legs with Santa barely in view.
Each time, I would ask the same question, "Addy, can you say hi to Santa?"
Each time, she’d shy away.
Fast forward a few weeks to last weekend’s Lee’s Summit Symphony holiday concert at Lee’s Summit High School.
Addy was part of a group of young dancers from Miss Phyllis’s Steppin’ Out-The Studio that had the honor to be on stage during part of the second half of the performance.
And again, Santa was on hand to get the big snub from my daughter.
Addy pranced down the aisle with the other dancers, took part in a jig up on stage with some of the older girls and even cooperated sitting "next" to Santa during the performance.
But when Santa reached down to pull her up, she wasn’t having it. All the other kids took their spot with Santa. Addy was content sitting near his feet, clapping along with the music and waving to her insane father taking nonstop photos from his phone.
I suppose some kids take to Santa quicker than others.
Maybe this year, with just the right gift under the tree, Addy will see the benefit in engaging the man in red this time of year.
My bet is that by age 4, we will have to be removing her from Santa’s lap as she unravels her scroll of Christmas gift wish lists.
x John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lees Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.