Sunday, December 28, 2008

much ado about Christmas carrots

Since I have already blogged about Santa, I'm sure no one will be surprised that Santa is a part of our family's Christmas tradition and that we planned to have Santa visit Sarah on Christmas Eve. I spent much of December trying to find out what Sarah wanted Santa to bring her for Christmas. However, Sarah is in a stage where she wants what she sees in front of her in the store at that moment, but as soon as we leave the store she's over it and it's forgotten. While this is helpful in that we don't hear continued whining about an item after we've left the store, it does mean that Sarah doesn't really have a long-term wish list.

I was beginning to feel comfortable with the idea that Santa was just going to have free reign to bring Sarah whatever he chose. How easy for him to choose whatever he wished to fill her stocking!

And then...IT happened. Sarah decided exactly what she wanted from Santa. And she picked a doozy! She declared that she wanted Santa to bring her Christmas carrots.

The problem? No one was exactly sure what Christmas carrots are.

So I asked some questions. "Christmas carrots? What are Christmas carrots?"

Sarah looked at me disdainfully. "They're vegetables!"

Okay...maybe she was talking about the baby-cut carrots we sometimes used for dipping in guacamole or hummus. "So they're the carrots we use to dip?"

You could almost see Sarah roll her eyes. "No. They're Christmas carrots. They're blue, and they come with stickers!"

Blue carrots?? With stickers?! Now I was truly confused. I pondered for awhile. Normally, even if Sarah says something that sounds completely crazy, if I think on it long enough I can see where she's coming from and how it makes sense in her mind. But this time I was completely stumped.

I tried to dig for information again. But this irritated Sarah. After all, she insisted, I didn't need to know what the Christmas carrots were! Santa could take care of it! (Something tells me Santa may be somewhat short-lived at our house. Sarah can't be outsmarted). I did at least get her to tell me where she had seen the Christmas carrots: at Wal-Mart, of course!

Blue Christmas carrots from Wal-Mart...Nelson and I discussed back and forth for a few days, but we were getting nowhere. We began to worry that Santa was going to strike out, even though Sarah is only four!

So Tuesday of this week, I had my final idea. If this didn't work, we were going to be out of luck. But we had to try one last time to solve this mystery of the Christmas carrots. Nelson ended up being off of work, and I wanted to take Sarah to the mall to see Santa and have her picture made with him. Before the picture though, I wanted her to get a haircut. It just so happens that we usually have Sarah's hair cut at Wal-Mart. So off we went to the Super Center. Casually I mentioned to Sarah as the stylist worked, "Since we're going to visit Santa after this, why don't you show me the Christmas carrots while we're here at Wal-Mart so we can tell Santa all about them when we see him?"

Lo and behold, it worked! Sarah agreed that she would lead us to the Christmas carrots after her haircut. But here's where the story takes a truly comical turn. I don't know if Sarah even remembered herself at this point exactly where she had seen these mythical carrots or what they really were. She led us all the through the store trying to find them. And a Wal-Mart Super Center is not a small place! With my ever-expanding pregnancy belly, I was growing exhausted as she wandered about. Finally, I asked her if she remembered the section where she had seen the carrots. Was it in the Christmas section, or maybe the grocery? She decided it was in the grocery part. So we headed toward to the grocery area. We began going up and down each aisle.

Finally we hit pay dirt. Sarah picked up a package of white yogurt-covered raisins and proclaimed them "Christmas carrots!" They were not blue, and they had no stickers, but she was absolutely satisfied that they were indeed the elusive carrots we had been stalking. Big sighs of relief all around.

On Christmas morning, Sarah woke up to find a package of yogurt-covered raisins in her stocking. She squealed in delight, "Christmas carrots! Santa filled my stocking! I KNEW he could do it!" She had left Santa a thank-you note under the tree the night before (her idea! I have to do a little motherly bragging about that), and Santa had responded on the back of the note that he had also left a gift in the refrigerator. Sarah ran to the fridge and found a package of baby carrots and a bottle of ranch dressing for dipping. "More Christmas carrots!" she exclaimed excitedly.

So in the end, Santa was very successful this year, even though we were certainly sweating it out. And interestingly, Sarah hasn't eaten any of the baby carrots and dip yet; when she asks to eat her "Christmas carrots", she heads straight for the pantry for her yogurt-covered raisins. She loves them!

I don't know how this Christmas carrot obsession came about, or even what she might have been referring to originally. But after days of thinking it over, Nelson and I have come up with at least some possibilities. Sarah has really enjoyed Frosty the Snowman this Christmas season, both the animated TV special and the song. I've even told you about her version of the song. And her version of course emphasizes carrots. So maybe the "Christmas carrots" morphed somehow from that. (And yogurt-covered raisins are white like the snowballs Frosty is made of).

But all this is just speculation. For once, I have been unable to get in Sarah's head and figure out her thinking. I'm just relieved that Santa pulled this one off and gave Sarah Christmas carrots that satisfied. He's a pretty smart guy! ;)


Tana said...

whew! you got lucky on that one! santa's reality isn't really a question around here. he's not all that involved in our traditions and sean likes it that way. i think his grandma gives him so many presents that santa can't compete. he won't get closer than 6 feet to a mall santa...i think he knows it's just a guy in a costume! he'll wave. we're big fans. from about 6 feet away.

Tara said...

Wow, what an adventure! :-) I'm glad it all worked out in the end.

Mommy of Two said...

oh my, what a tale!!! I read this out loud to Shawn! What fun and what a memory!