Posts Tagged ‘Santa’

A Love Letter to Santa

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

A Love Letter to Santa

Thursday, December 17th, 2015
Inaugural year of East Atlanta Santa at Joe's Coffee. 2007

Inaugural year of East Atlanta Santa at Joe’s Coffee. 2007

Every year we see Santa in our old neighborhood, East Atlanta. I can’t remember how exactly it started, but a bunch of folks with little kids bemoaned the mall santa cost, lines, and hassle, and we ended up spawning this amazing fundraiser and tradition. Joe’s Coffee (shout out to Dawn!) offered up their back porch that first year. Friends and neighbors, most without kids of their own, offered to dress up as elves. Dogs and adults and all manner of kookiness were welcome. The cost was, I think, a gift donated to Toys for Tots, or maybe even that first year they donated it all to the boys and girls club?

Tiller with Sheila the Elf, at Flatiron. 2015

Tiller with Sheila the Elf, at Flatiron. 2015

This kind of DIY, easy, laid-back event is precisely what I miss most about EAV. (Okay, well, maybe I miss the people just a little too.) One of those neighbors voiced his dismay that some of us who have been every year since they started putting EAV Santa on are now the old veterans. Which just seems crazy; It seems like just yesterday that I was in Joe’s wearing Rollie in a Baby Bjorn. This friend later posted a retrospective of their photos, and I thought I’d do the same. Well, turns out my archiving skills are not up to par, so I didn’t even locate the earlier mall santa photos. I couldn’t even find the actual picture of the kids with EAV Santa that first year (2007), but I managed, with Todd’s help, to locate a photo outtake in the back at Joe’s, along with all the other 8 years with Santa.

I’m not gonna lie, there were tears shed putting this together. My babies are babies no more. But they will have to deal with our yearly tradition of seeing Santa at Joe’s for the foreseeable future. It’s probably my favorite Christmas tradition. (Since my cousins and I don’t exchange Turtle’s Gift Tokens any more.)

East Atlanta, consider this a love letter. I miss you often. Wishing the villagers and the rest of my loves a wonderful Christmas and an amazing 2016.*

Ages 2 and 4: 2007

Ages 2 and 4: 2007

Ages 5 and 3: 2008

Ages 5 and 3: 2008

Ages 6 and 4: 2009

Ages 6 and 4: 2009

Ages 5 and 7: 2010

Ages 5 and 7: 2010

Ages 8 and 6: 2011

Ages 8 and 6: 2011

Ages 9 and 7: 2012

Ages 9 and 7: 2012

Ages 8 and 10: 2013

Ages 8 and 10: 2013

Ages 11 and 9: 2014

Ages 11 and 9: 2014

Ages 12 and 10: 2015

Ages 12 and 10: 2015

* If I put it out there to the Universe like this, maybe karma will make my 2016 a little better than 2015. No, I won’t be doing a Facebook 2015 Year In Review. People would be wanting to gouge their eyes out or slit their wrists in the bathtub reading that.

Lunar Eclipse

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Cool stuff in the sky this week: A full lunar eclipse tonight, the full moon, and the winter solstice tomorrow.

I’ll go ahead and say it. Nerd Central.

Lots of fun this weekend, so hoping to post about it soon, but have a million things to do today, so who knows if that will happen. All you really need to know is that Todd wore a Santa suit.

Tucker Tree Lighting

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

I took a few photos on Tuesday when we attended the Tucker tree lighting. Todd was working late, so the kids and I hit Matthews Cafeteria. It was great and if you haven’t had it, you should check it out. Old school southern cooking, kid-friendly, and very time-warpy. We know I love a good time warp.

Todd met us and ate the kids leftover dinners (Too much excitement! Christmas Trees! Other kids from School! Santa! Can’t eat anything, but will suck down a lemonade like nobody’s business!) and then we headed up main street, across the railroad tracks, and into the roped off section of downtown Tucker. Kids were running around willy nilly in the glow of Christmas lights. Shop owners were giving out hot chocolate and coffee and candy canes, and the Tucker Lodge (Masons, i guess?) had a tent and fires set up for roasting marshmallows. The Tucker tree was beautiful and lit in colored lights.

The kids roasted their marshmallows and went back to have smores made, and then we ate them across the street on the curb and people-watched. I ran into the new consignment furniture store run by the Tucker Arts Guild, Regroup Furniture. Pretty good selection. I came back out and the kids were running in circles, chasing each other and generally looking wild-eyed, while Todd was talking to our old East Atlanta neighbor, Howard, who is a cop and his beat is our new neighborhood. We see him at least every couple of months, which is nice.

We sat and looked at the tree lights, and then Tiller had a meltdown and we headed back for home, skipping the Santa they had set up in the frame shop. The kids didn’t even notice, thank goodness, as we would never have gotten home.

It was fun to see my friends and neighbors, and for the kids to know people walking down the street. I love that small-town community feel that we get here. The whole thing reminded me very much of the Christmas Tree they had in downtown Alpharetta when I was a little girl, all magical to my little eyes.

I just wish that Tucker had some carolers and maybe, just maybe, a bar. Or at least a liquor license. Or a glass of wine with my din din. It’s like the worst of both worlds – No Christmas Carols, no nativity scene, no menorah, and no booze. Bah humbug, Tucker, but i love ya, anyway.

Free Santa!

Friday, December 15th, 2006

On Saturday, we took Rollie and Tiller to see Santa at St. Paul’s Methodist in Grant Park. Although I am unsure about my thoughts on God, I am sure about one thing; I love old, beautiful churches. St. Paul’s is really gorgeous, but in a lived-in, non-museum-like way. You actually feel welcome and warm when you are there.


Santa was upstairs in a back room and you had to wait in a not-too-long line to see him. The line wrapped out the door and down the stairs. Rollie and tiller were excellently-behaved, much to my surprise; I guess they were mesmerized by all of the other kids. Living in East Atlanta, I often feel cut off from other people with children, until we attend something like this Santa event. Then I realize just how many young children are living and being born here and I realize that in ten years, this will probably be a really family-friendly neighborhood, and a great place to raise kids. I sometimes wish that I had the confidence to make my children urban pioneer children, working to make the schools in this area better, but I just don’t think that is going to happen, nor do I think I am the Mom to attempt it. I just don’t want my precious little ones to be guinea pigs in an experiment that might fail. Selfish, I know, but also my decision and we are the ones responsible for their educational raisin’, as they call it here in the South.

I digress. We finally entered the Santa room, and then rounded the corner, where we could actually see Santa. He was a great-looking Santa in a traditional Santa suit with the belt and all. He had his own Santa chair and a Christmas tree and we were allowed to take pictures with the digital camera for free, which is really more in the Christmas spirit than those mall Santas. Plus, less waiting in line.

When it was our turn, Rollie hopped up in his lap without hesitation (unlike last year – tears and more tears, making for hysterically funny Santa pics) and told him what he wanted for Christmas (choochoos and cars). We snapped some pictures of them together, then threw Tiller up with them. She was surprisingly good, too, and in fact just seemed enthralled with his beard and stared at him. We had a hard time getting both of them to look at the camera, and of course, our camera acted up throughout, so the shots aren’t great. But hey! They are free!

Cheap Santas are great. Free Santas are the best.