My original design for this spread had space for many more pictures, as I knew there would be a lot of story to tell when fifteen young children have a surprise visit from Santa, who just happens to bring a special toy for each one of them. To our surprise, Santa took time with each and every child, allowing them to sit on his lap and open their special gift. Lyra was first up and I was surprised how comfortable she was this time. But nothing surprised me more than the HUGE reaction she had to unwrapping one of her favorite library books, One Boy. I was too surprised and busy smiling to have captured that memory with my camera, but I’m so thrilled to watch her passion for books and “reading” emerge at such a young age. Books are her favorite play things, by a long margin.
Although I left the party with plenty of magical images to fill all of those waiting spaces in my layout, in the end, the page looked chaotic and the story was unfocused. These two images most closely conveyed the enchantment the white-bearded man creates when little believers are in his presence. I have many feelings about the myth of Santa and the role adults play in perpetuating the myth, and often the commercial greediness of the holiday; but if childhood should be about anything, it should definitely be about magic. I love the slack-jawed wonder and rapt attention on the children’s faces as they await their turn in Santa’s lap. And I love seeing Lyra sit so confidently and comfortably with this visitor who truly loves to put a smile on every child’s face.