Sunday, December 23, 2012

Over the river and through the woods...

The holidays are approaching and I am reminded of the feeling of belief.  That feeling you felt as a child in the magic of Santa and the other people and creatures that visited us while we slept. Santa is by far the favorite.  He not only flies from the North Pole on a sleigh pulled by eight flying reindeer;  but  he and his big bag of toys fit down the chimney and fill stockings with presents, an orange, and a book of lifesavers. He does this in a wink of time and is off to five billion other houses all before dawn.   How fabulous and magical is that!

  I was a passionate believer in Santa Claus and the hundreds of elves working away at the North Pole.  I was beguiled by the magic of it all.  Of course I went to school and was faced with HATERS and Special Agents questioning and searching for the truth. They would be everywhere; leaning towards you in class and whispering, “How does he know where to find you when you aren’t home on Christmas Eve?” Or debating on the playground; arguing, “Where does he park the sleigh?”  Some kids would bring toys they received from Santa and would be interrogated, “Why does it say MADE IN CHINA?” or be the interrogaters, “I found this in my mother’s closet with a Santa tag.”   Still, I stood by Santa Claus and could not be shaken.   I was a believer.   

But it was bound to happen.  Santa, the North Pole, the sleigh, the reindeer, the bells, elves...all of it would be shaken to a harsh reality.  We were spending Christmas at my grandparents.  My uncle was there with a girlfriend and her two kids. The children were around the same age as us.  We were all excited because we were going to camp on the floor by the tree in the main living room with the stockings and presents.  When it came time for bed, us kids started talking about Christmas and Santa.  I believe I recited a story my mother had recalled as a child (I may need to call her later) about hearing the sound of the reindeer walking on the roof above her bedroom.  Right away the other two children were telling me and my sister how the evening was going to play out.  And the scenario didn’t involve Santa or his eight reindeer.  “You wait, when they think we are asleep, our moms are going to fill our stockings.” One of them hissed.   “Ludicrous!” I would have shouted if I knew the word at the time.  There was no way it could be true!  And so I was convinced to participate in their trickery and was talked into pretending to sleep.  And sure enough (in no time at all if I am recalling this correctly) our moms appeared from the kitchen grabbed our stockings and filled them right there in the kitchen.  I think I already knew in my heart, but I wanted to ride the magic forever.  I have never forgotten what I got in my stocking that year.  One thing that sticks out from that memory is getting a little red devil stuffed toy. 

Believing in Santa was so fun and such a heart break to let go but I have children now and I get to believe again. 

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