Breakfast With Santa, December 3, 2016
On the day after Thanksgiving, the Pfister Christmas tree was lit and Santa arrived to the applause of adults, the squeals of children, and the caroling of madrigals in the packed lobby. But Santa didn’t return to the North Pole right away. Instead, for the next three Saturdays, Mr. and Mrs. Claus (and a sledful of elves) are revisiting the Hotel at Breakfast With Santa in the elegant Imperial Ballroom. To just call this “breakfast,” though, doesn’t do it justice. I was able to get some beautiful shots of the holiday smorgasbord from the tiny balcony typically reserved for newlyweds, from which the laughter of families and the clink of plates blended harmoniously with the musical cheer resounding from the speakers.
The excitement was palatable: trays and trays of delicious foods, crafts for the children, and jolly elves whipping everyone into a holiday frenzy.
And then . . . “Can I have your attention, everyone?” Concierge Peter Mortenson took center stage and entertained the crowd by pointing to a random breakfaster and asking, “Is that Santa Claus?” The children, of course, yelled, “Noooooo!” So if that wasn’t Santa, then, how could beckon him? What else to do but to pick up a young boy, stand him on a chair, and announce that this boy had suggested singing a song.
It worked! In the middle of “Jingle Bells,” look who arrived!
So, what’s a lowly Narrator to do when all the kids are sitting on Santa’s lap or making ornaments or decorating cookies? Interview the adults, of course, and ask them what they wanted from Santa. Earlier in the week, I had gotten a glimpse of what of what kids at the tree lighting celebration had asked Santa for–electronics, toys, puppies, baby sisters, and the occasional selfless Milkbones for their current pets:
But this morning, I thought I’d talk to the people who would actually be trying to fulfill these children’s wishes for toys and siblings (by writing to Santa, of course, because that’s where all the toys and, er, children are made, right?). Their responses didn’t surprise me, but they definitely weren’t all “I wish for world peace” beauty pageant types of responses. Instead, they were down-to-earth, in-the-moment, and heartfelt. Some wished for tangible things (some fantasies, others practical). And some wishes were even a little fraught with anxiety about failing health and imminent births. Here is your Breakfast With Santa (Adult Version):
May all of your wishes–whether you are young or old–come true in the new year! Ho Ho Ho!