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Can you believe this is the week of Christmas? That in only a few days, Santa – the man in the big red suit – will be coming down the chimney? Maybe it’s just me but it seems like those last couple of weeks before the most wonderful time of the year always fly by.

Sometimes, even that ritual visit to see Santa gets put off until the last minute. So this year, I figured I’d be one step ahead and actually plan the day for our visit. We headed to Lexington Green before 9 a.m. on Saturday. The plan was simple: I’d pick up a few things from the bookstore, and by the time we were done there, Santa would be arriving, Colton would divulge his wishlist, and we’d be outta there before millions of other Lexingtonians were even awake. (OK, so there are a million people in Lexington, but that’s hardly the point. Any city that has to put up “Caution: High accident risk. Do Not Block Intersections” signs in this area lends the appearance of having at least a million people in the vicinity of the mall.

Just so we’re clear, the Santa at Lexington Green is not your average run-of-the-mill, typical mall Santa with a fake beard and suit stuffed with a pillow. Oh, no. He’s the real deal. You can even pull on his beard. If ever there was a Santa who more closely resembled Miracle on 34th Street, I would be shocked.

My scheduling was working without a glitch, and by 10 a.m., we were walking toward Santa’s temporary headquarters.

“Here we are!” I said to Colton. “Ready to go see Santa.”

“Nah, I’m good.”

“What?!? What do you mean, ‘you’re good’? We’re here to see Santa! Christmas is a week from today!”

“No thanks,” he said, while peeking in to try to catch a glimpse of the old man. Santa’s “organizer” overheard the conversation and tried to help out, while getting the first of the GOOD little boys and girls – the ones who WANTED to talk to Santa, lined up for their turn.

“Are you kidding me, Colton?? You aren’t going to talk to Santa?”

“Nah – maybe tomorrow. Besides, I don’t really want toys like the little kids. I want cool things, like a bluetooth for the PS3.”

“So you don’t think Santa makes those too?!?!”

“Yeah, it’s just that I’d rather come back tomorrow.”

I wondered if he really meant that. Or if, in a dark stroke of fate, it meant he deemed himself too old for the Santa stuff. To hear him talk about it, he’s the last true believer. But how can that be if he doesn’t want to go see him? Is the age of innocence over and gone? Never to return??

Well, maybe for him (although I’m holding out hope). As for me, I’m headed to Lexington Green to get a couple of last minute requests to Pere Noel. I’m no fool… Santa’s Coming!

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