Care For Real + MACYS SANTA HELL, I'm warning you

Guilt trip time! But seriously, I either say it or sit on it and I'm not so good with the latter. I stopped by Care For Real today, the local organization providing meals and goods in my neighborhood. Guess what I saw? In the freezing snow? Like 30 people lined up outside the door for groceries. Can you imagine!

I know it's late in the season, tomorrow being the day before Christmas Eve and all, but if you happen to be out or feeling generous in January, please think about running a check into these people. They're at 6044 N. Broadway across from Dominick's and the fabric store. 
Look, you can feel like a rock star! Just park illegally in front, throw your hazzards on and waltz in the front like you own the place. Pass them a little check of course. But how fun, right!
No one will ever know if you donate or not and certainly no one will judge you if you don't, but just put it in your pipe and think about it. You can even drop a check in the mail because from the looks of things, we'll still have some hungry neighbors in January.
Sorry to come across as a goody. I'm a terrible person, myself. I honk in traffic and my kitchen in a disaster, so don't go thinking I'm hanging around charities every day. I just wanted to pass on what I saw.
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Santa at Macy's on State Street? Don't even think about it.
One glance at last year's Macy's Santa pic should have reminded me that schlepping downtown for the benefit of the baby is not a swell idearr.
macys santa 2009.png
Macy's 2009, when there was zero line because we 
went in November.
But no. Four days before Christmas on the heels of a stomach bug, the beginnings of a cold, starving, restless and stubborn, we made our way to Macy's Santaland a second year in a row last night.
Problems:
1. LIES! The pretty little elfkin girl directing the back of the line will tell you LIES that the wait is only 35 minutes. You can't see past the entrance to what turns out to be a mile long, dimly lit maze to Santa (we'll get to that) so you trust her. Don't. It was an hour before Bianca was screaming on a crushed velvet knee.
2. The hidden maze. Oh, it's only around that first festive corner? Wrong. There are about ten festive S curves that make up an intricate, stuffy, dark, winding tunnel path toward Satan. Typo and it stays. Once you're in, you're in and there's no escape, Santa goers. Thank God we're not potty training yet but I saw someone else's disaster go down. Eek!
3. Kids hate Santa. Well. I have one friend whose two-year-old is a perfect gentleman in his festive little polo upon the knee of Kris Kringle, but my child and everyone else's child pretty much hates him in person. What is it? The beard? Is he scary like a clown? Bee was all smiles and "I want a bouncy ball!" until she saw the old man in person. Then it was screams.
So there you go. For a free and easy Santa, I recommend walking a block down the street and visiting the previously mentioned Christkindlemarket. No line, fewer tears, and better food than the food court.
macys santa 2010.png
Macy's 2010, she's like HELP MOM. And I'm all 
"not until we get a friggin picture". Smile!

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