Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Believe in Santa

As a child, my grandparents hosted a big Christmas Eve party at their house. My numerous aunts, uncles and cousins filled the house with noise and excitement. After dinner there would be a knock at the door and who would be there with a big red bag full of gifts? Santa!

My memories of Santa visiting us on Christmas Eve are some of my most precious. Even after, around age 9, I accidentally saw Santa come to the back door to get the gift bag from my grandma, I still pretended to believe in the magic of Santa.

The tradition ended the year that I was 18. My beloved grandfather died that year and we tried to continue with Santa but it was never really the same. At Grandpa's funeral a man we didn't know came up to give his condolences. I looked at my mom and said, "His voice is so familiar. Who is that?"

She didn't know. Then we realized - it was Santa! You see, Grandpa never told anyone who Santa was; not even my grandma knew. It turns out he was a co-worker and friend of Grandpa's who had agreed to be Santa back in 1976 and continued every single year.

Fast-forward to Christmas 2010. Just a week ago I walked into my living room to see my 7 year-old daughter and 4 year-old son looking at the Christmas tree with a friend. This friend is my daughter's age and her family does not celebrate Christmas because they are part of a different religion than ours.

It has never been an issue in the past but I lost my cool when I heard these words come out of her mouth in a loud, argumentative voice:

"Santa's not real! My mom says he's just a guy in a costume and your parents give you the presents."

As you can imagine I had quite a bit of explaining to do and I also had a serious conversation with her mother. All I ask is that others respect our traditions and allow my children to have the same Christmas joy that I grew up with. For now, my kids still believe in Santa and I hope that the magic continues for many years to come.

Mason and Emily visiting jolly Ol' St. Nick on her 3rd birthday in 2006. 
This post is part of Alphabe-Thursday Holiday Blessings


Jingle said...

Hope you well, season's greetings!

Awards 4 U, Merry Christmas, Thanks 4 Being My Friend!


Awards 4 U, Stay Blessed

Sue said...

I agree. We all need to believe in the magic as long as we can!


Cheryl said...

Yikes! Sounds like you handled this well.

Jo said...

what a sweet story about your childhood tradition ... and that other Mom ... how not so nice of her to disrespect some one else's beliefs/traditions

Jenny said...

I just had a conversation with our oldest Grand about this. Such tender times when you can still believe. Such difficult times finding out that things aren't true.

Thank you for linking this thoughtful and thought-provoking post.


Anonymous said...

I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old, for various reasons we do not do the Santa thing. I had my 4 year old not long ago, tell the 6 year old neighbor boy that Santa is dead. The neighbor boy was very upset and I had told him not to worry about it that he should talk to his mom and I would talk to my son. The reason my son had said this was because just a few days earlier we had sat down and read a book about the historical figure Nicholas who would later be transformed into the Santa myth. In the book, obviously it talked about Nicolas in the past tense and living a long time ago and that's what my son picked up on.

All that to say that it is not like some parents purposely go out of their way to tell their children the truth so they can sabotage other children's hopes. It's also hard on the other side when you don't do the Santa thing and others just assume you do. It's the facts of life and sometimes it sucks.

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