It turned out that what had happened was that our whole block is a new development and we had all been running power from the building company. They were finished building and had set that day as the disconnect date for their power account. That should have been fine because everyone living in the houses already had connected their own accounts. Except that the big electricity provider hadn't allowed the individual providers to take over the property accounts or stopped the disconnection like they should have, knowing that people were living in those properties. Furthermore, none of their people knew what was going on or what had happened. So our whole block enjoyed 12-24 hours of no power. That would have probably been fine if it hadn't been such a circus to try to find out what was going on. We literally spent hours calling Y company to be told that they couldn't help but X company could, we'd call X company and they'd tell us that they couldn't help but Z company could so we'd call Z company and they'd tell us that Y company would sort it out. There were tears and stress induced arguments.
We finally were told what had happened and that we would be reconnected by 6pm so decided to try to salvage the day and go to see Santa. No power means no hot water so we washed our faces and wet mine and Violet's hair down in the sink, threw on clothes and headed out. Did I mention Rob had also gotten a chemical burn in his eye a few days earlier and had spent the night in the emergency ward? His eye is red and hanging out of his head (not quite literally). We looked AWESOME. We didn't at all. But it's not about us, right? And Violet DID look awesome, she can't help it. We got to Santa and Violet was actually an angel. She was a little apprehensive but interested in the bubbles the camera operators were blowing and they snapped 3 funny but cute shots of her looking way above the camera. Poor old, sweet but ultimately in denial Rob didn't realise what an amazing achievement getting a picture of a 19 month old with Santa NOT screaming her head off was. Last year our photo was incredible, Violet was even smiling on Santa's lap and he thought that all kids just love Santa, in spite of 19 month old stranger anxiety. Because it's Santa, right? So he decided that the photos they had weren't quite perfect and despite being warned by Santa's helpers that they could only store 3 at a time so if we deleted the ones they had we'd be stuck with whatever came next, and it might be much worse, he asked them to take them again.
Violet had reached her 'strange old red suit in summer wearing man' limit and her face turned red the minute they clicked delete on the photos they had. She started screaming and trying to get off his knee. So, um, we had to get in the photo too. Un-showered, make up free, bad hair, not dressed nicely (because who can be bothered when you already look so bad?), bright red eye ball and a toddler who did not even want to be near Santa anymore. Oh dear. We spent the rest of the day palming our foreheads and vowing to hide the photo until it becomes funny in a "haha" way rather than in an "i can't believe that just happened way". Well, screw it, that day has not come but I'm posting the photo anyway.
I do like that even Santa looks uncomfortable with the situation. Here's our picture from last year for comparison:
Oh, and when we got home at 6pm the power was not on, we had to go through the whole process again but eventually got electricity back at about 9:30pm. We still don't know how as we were on the phone at the time being told that no one could see any problem. There's always next year for it to be a relaxing and festive affair, right?
But seriously, Merry Christmas.