Any kid watching the holiday classic "A Christmas Story" knows there's only one truly nerve-wracking scene.
It isn't the moment when Ralphie searches by the Christmas tree for his carbine-action, 200-shot range Red Ryder model air rifle. And it isn't the part when Ralphie confronts his bully.
No, the all-too-real scene that leaves young viewers on the edge of their seats is the moment Ralphie and his brother realize they have to wait in a really long line to see Santa just as the department store is about to close.
To help ease all that anxiety, Santa is taking reservations this year from kids who want to get down to the business of holiday wish lists at Oakbrook Center.
Youngsters can skip the lines and reserve one-on-one time with Kriss Kringle -- he is a busy man, after all -- at the shopping center's festive glass pavilion across from Starbucks.
The mall is booking appointments with Santa at its website, Oakbrookcenter.com. Anyone who signs up between Monday and Wednesday through Dec. 9 receives $5 off photos with St. Nick.
Santa will visit with kids from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon until 6 p.m. Sunday.
His special hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 15 through Dec. 23 and 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Christmas Eve.