Ella's school had a "Cookies with Santa" morning a few Saturdays ago, and we decided do that for our annual Santa trip. I figured it'd be an ideal and comfortable setting, and big bonus to avoid a line at the mall and be able to take our own pictures.
She insisted in dressing in all red for the occasion - she wanted her "Santa's Little Helper" shirt and then I tried to get her to put on some black leggings but she would hear nothing of it, and wanted to be in all red. She also needed red socks to complete her look.
She made a picture for Santa that morning
The event was from 9am-12pm, but the morning kind of got away from us, and by the time we got there, it was about 11:40 am. This ended up working out perfectly because there were just a few of us there, and no one came after, so Ella got some good quality time with Santa.
She was shy at first but did sit on his lap and gave us an obligatory smile for some photos
He gave her a candy cane and she got a few cookies, worked up some confidence and asked me to get her picture out of the car. This time she walked right up to him to give him the picture and explain it to him. He was so sweet with her, it was really adorable.
She had plenty of questions for him, including "Do you go to North Carolina?" and "What kind of cookies are your favorite?" (his answer "chocolate chip" and she said "OHHH, just like last year!")
It was such a good Santa visit, I was so happy it worked out the way that it did!
Later that day a firetruck came through the neighborhood with another Santa (definitely a LOT less authentic and seemed to be traveling with his family on board) and threw some candy off the truck for the kids on the streets.