Modern day dad posts about that time-honored American tradition, you remember from your own childhood: visiting Santa at the mall. Funny stuff, even for you New York snobs who have no intention of getting your kids within 10 miles of a mall. [They're gonna grow up and move to a McMansion somewhere, you just wait.]
Anyway, city kids can always go to the Macy's Santa, but frankly, ever since hearing David Sedaris's "Santaland Diaries" on NPR--fourteen years ago, yow, time flies--I can't look at the retail Santa thing with anything but horror.
If you DO visit Santa, however, Santa's booking agent, RealSanta.com, offers some handy hints:
If your child is has a wet bottom, let Santa and his helpers know. Children of this age have no control and will surprise all of us. Again, if Santaís suit gets wet or soiled, everything has to stop while he changes or cleans up. If Santa, or the family, has a lap pad (rubber or plastic lined) he might be able to take the photo.
Making Mall Santa Memories [moderndaydad]
Holidays on Ice Audio CD, includes Sedaris reading "Santaland Diaries" [amazon]
Screw that, it's on NPR's website for free. Er, I mean, it'd make the perfect gift. [npr.org]
Handy Hints for Families visiting Santa [RealSanta.com]