Rudolph prances down the aisles and the elves redden the Nutcracker’s cheeks. I don the eyeglasses from the Mrs. Santa costume bag and discover why the package is unopened before now. You can’t see a thing. I pull the glasses farther down my nose which looks more authentic anyway.
Our fellow ferry passengers smile. One asks where we’re headed. To the Mall on the peninsula, Santa’s coming, we say smiling. It’s only mid November. It’s Friday night, we’re running late and dressing on the ferry. The car full of elves, Mrs. Santa, the Nutcracker and Rudolph bombs along the two lane highway. We park. Rudolph and the Nutcracker race through JC Penney’s, with the elves and Mrs. Claus trailing behind. Reaching the stage, the carolers yell at the Nutcracker, who bounds on stage and begins his dance. The elves receive bells and candy canes to pass out. Santa arrives on his motorized mall conveyance vehicle. Rudolph and I decide to greet mall shoppers and mix with parents and children milling around in the area. Children yell “Mrs. Claus” and ask to have their picture taken with me. Who knew Mrs. Claus is that popular with kids?
After only 10 minutes, Santa mounts his motorized vehicle again, and we all follow him to the other end of the mall, waving to all the shoppers. It’s a parade! Sort of, the mall’s not that busy. The picture taking elves are busy at Santa’s chair, surrounded by a white fence and a reindeer playing the piano.
The elves and I wonder what to do now. They’re out of bells and candy canes. The children and parents are lined up outside the fence, waiting for their turn to tell Santa what they want for Christmas. A child-wrangler elf comes up and says “We’ve got kids waiting in line, don’t stand there, go entertain them!” Mrs. Claus thinks (not out loud) what an ass and the Grinch is among us. To humor the Grinch, we engage parents and kids in conversation and Rudolph prances. Someone asks Rudolph why his nose is unlit and then answers the question by saying, “oh, no batteries”. That is correct. The batteries in the costume bag were dead and there wasn’t time to purchase more.
After one hour, the elves, Nutcracker, Rudolph and Mrs. Claus exit the mall and pile into the car. The magic is over. Fun while it lasted. But for Mrs. Claus, it’s just too early to have Santa in mid November.