I remember vividly the year I realized my parents filled our stockings on Christmas. As the youngest of 3, at first I felt ‘left out’ because I was the last to know. But following quickly on the heels of those thoughts was a fear that if anyone knew I knew, there would be no Santa gifts! I loved reaching in my stocking to discover what hidden treasures were there! So, I never said a word….in my young mind, if I still believed, Santa would still play a role in our Christmas celebration.
Fast forward to raising my own three children, and I discovered the joy of ‘being the Santa ‘. Watching them reach in to examine the little trinkets and treasures tucked inside was one of my favorite moments on Christmas morning.
When my oldest son, Nicholas, came to me one year to tell me, ‘all the kids at school say there is no Santa ‘ I was sad. There is magic in that jolly man in the red suit, and that moment in a child’s life when they no longer believe can change Christmas forever for them. So we sat down and talked. I told him that I still believed in Santa and everything he represents, and that I hoped he would too. More importantly, I told him that his little sister and brother still believed, and that he should make sure that he didn’t spoil the excitement for them.
What happened that Christmas morning was a joy for a Mother to behold. While it was difficult to see Nick ‘grow up’ a little bit right before my eyes, I saw the joy in his eyes as he watched his siblings squeal with delight as they discovered what Santa had left them. I delighted in the secret looks and smiles he gave me, knowing that he was ‘in’ on the secret, as he lovingly said, ‘Jess, Santa must have known that was your favorite color’ and ‘Timmy, wow! how did Santa know you wanted tools for your workbench?’ With each new comment, Nick would look at me with a new understanding of the magic of Christmas ….he still believed!
Fast forward a few more years to our first Christmas with just the kids and me. Secretly, they pooled their money, and bought stocking stuffers for their Mom, because they didn’t want me to not have a stocking to open on Christmas morning. There wasn’t much inside, but the love that was in that stocking was priceless to me.
So do I believe in Santa? Without a doubt. He may not be an overweight bearded man in a red suit with elves and reindeer and a workshop. …but he exists in the magic of Christmas. ..and in your heart, if you let him.
Merry Christmas! !
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