Eliza loves Christmas. She loves the trees, the flowers, the stars, the reindeer, the snow. She even loves Santa.
That is, when he’s not actually, you know, near her.
We got in a visit to Santa at Westfield mall in Union Square, where Santa sets up shop under a gorgeous dome. In years past, it’s been a typical affair, where we pay $16.95 for two keychains and a 5×7. This year? Free! Except that it was free because Microsoft is desperate to sell its new photo product, Fuse, wherein you can take your natural, kid’s-squirming-on-Santa’s-lap photo, and splice it with several other takes, so that generations from now, your grandchildren’s grandchildren will see only perfection where there ought to be holiday reality.
So it was a little like a timeshare: we’ll offer you a free visit to Santa’s lap, but you have to sit and listen to a ten-minute pitch for a product you don’t want, but you happen to already own anyway because you just got Windows 7.
Despite the elf’s best attempts to let me cut-and-paste my children’s heads, I opted to go for the first take, intact and off-the-cuff. Daddy was a bit hungover from celebrating Grandpa’s birthday the night before. Gillian understood that she was sitting on Santa’s lap like she understands algebra. And Eliza, well–she politely declined.
Merry Christmas, Microsoft!