Monday, December 13, 2010

Santa and The Missus

The stunning beauty never ceases to surprise me when I'm driving along route 302 through the White Mountain National Forest, with little but forest for miles, to come around the corner past Bretton Woods to see the Omni Mount Washington Hotel and the towering Presidential Range behind it. To me, holiday time is the Hotel's most amazing. Although the Hotel has only been open in the winter since 1999, it seems to me this place was built for Christmas decoration. Twinkling lights, a life size gingerbread house, fresh flowers and greenery, and Christmas trees that could only fit in this grand hall filled the main lobby.

Unfortunately, a chest cold kept me away from the Nordic trails this weekend, but the Hotel’s storybook holiday setting was perfect for our indoor endeavors. On Saturday, Bridget and I joined several other children and parents for afternoon Tea with Mrs. Claus. Part of the fun of Christmastime with a three-year-old is that so many of the traditions I take for granted are new experiences to her. She remembered Santa, but I had to explain that Santa had a wife.

On the veranda, Bridget immediately identified the woman dressed in red as Mrs. Claus, and cautiously approached. Mrs. Claus gave her a warm welcome and I knew Bridget was enchanted. As we climbed the stairs to enter the lobby we were greeted by Mark MacDonald, Guest Services Manager. He focused in on Bridget, inviting her inside and quickly fetching a kid’s “backpack” full of Omni goodies for her. She wouldn’t take it off for the rest of the weekend.

Tea with Mrs. Claus was in the Princess Dining Room, and a table was set for the two of us with white linens and china. Did they know what kind of havoc a three-year-old can bring? But Bridget was soon captivated by Mrs. Claus’ storytelling. True to her matriarchal role, this Mrs. Claus had a charm and wit that mesmerized the children, leaving them no opportunity to do anything but behave. She danced with the children and asked about their favorite animals. We munched on tiny cupcakes and pb&j’s with the crust cut off and sipped hot chocolate. Bridget’s favorite part, though, was the surprise at the end – a stuffed reindeer for all the children. In a moment of kindness towards her baby brother, she asked if we might bring home a toy for him as well, and Eileen Savoy, the Activities Director, kindly retrieved one for him as well.

On Sunday morning one-year-old Timothy and my husband joined Bridget and me in a trip back to the Omni Mount Washington Hotel for Breakfast with Santa. Guest Services Manager Mark remembered her from the day before and called Bridget by name, asking her how her visit with Mrs. Claus was. I think she must believe that we personally know everyone at the resort… since everyone is so friendly, she just assumes they are all friends of ours!

We enjoyed an extravagant breakfast buffet in the main dining room, and then Bridget had a visit with Santa. After a hug from Santa, we joined some other kids at a table set up for them to color little race cars and to write a letter to Santa. Santa’s helper promised that Bridget would receive a letter in return.

Bridget asked me this morning when we were going to get to going skiing next. Soon!


  1. Sounds like a sweet weekend! You are doing a great job Martha!