This year could quite possibly have been the last Christmas when all three of my children believe in Santa Claus. My oldest is eight. I stopped believing when I was eight. The devastation that took over my little young life when some asshole in elementary school told me he didn’t’ exist. Who made him the fucking messenger. I remember asking my mom and her telling me the truth, in complete shock that they had given me an answer that was opposite from what I was assured they would give. And then I peed myself.
However, the longer they believe, the more difficult it becomes for us. My oldest has morphed into a CIA agent this year—asking our elf to hide in undisclosed locations and refusing to uncover the information to me. “It’s between me and mimi”, she would say. The magic just got that much harder to provide. Huge undercover missions to purchase, pick up, deliver, hide and wrap have become missions that a PointPark graduate was not equipped for. My friend had to play “stalker” by driving around my neighborhood with my son so that I could transport a bike bigger than myself into my house without any of their friends watching out of the window. My poor three year old has now developed a complex because he thought we were going shopping for the neighbor’s kids’ birthday for four weeks in a row, roughly 4 times a week. He may feel less loved now. And, after my middle child writing a Christmas list with 45 items, followed by a real horse and a trip to Paris, we had to refinance our house and sell all of our cars and possibly a few animals to afford that. (We made her reconstruct her list down to 15).
We hide the gifts, cover the gifts with bedsheets, close doors, make up stories that “the cat threw up so you can’t go in there.”..Then they tell their friends the cat threw up like a month ago so no one can go in there. So now the friend thinks we are the most disgusting people in the world for not cleaning up the cat throw up and then will tell their parents. Now we have lost friends.
We take hours to bake Christmas cookies for Santa and post them on Facebook to make it look like we are having the best times of our life but in actuality having been screaming at our kids to stop playing with the flour that is now inside their noses and down their pants somehow. However, we are adamant that they participate and are baffled that after yelling at them continuously to stop using up all the sprinkles on one cookie, that they now want to stop baking cookies. They will not help clean eighter, but will gladly pick santa’s cookies out for Christmas Eve, which are usually the ones with all of the sprinkles so really it’s a win win at the end of it.
You have to pound drinks on Christmas Eve because you are overcome with anticipation to see your children’s faces in the morning. You hope they love everything that “Santa” brought. But every year all of that worry goes away because they are thrilled! They are shrieking and they are smiling…until your son opens a superman lego set only to follow with “I hate Superman”. (who hates superman!) No one is perfect, not even Santa you teach them.
By Christmas night you are exhausted. You feel beaten up and bruised from the emotional roller coaster since Thanksgiving. You could sleep for 10 days in a row. But you cant, because you have 18 gashes in the bottom of your foot from the legos and figurines left on the living room floor that blend in with the carpet, so it’s cleaning time.
But that’s ok. I will take the gashes and the extra winkles or “nipples” (NOTE: crafty segway to previously blogs) on my face. I am holding onto these moments. I will miss these moments. I don’t want them to go away. It won’t be the same when they go to the mall, pick out their present, and then wrap it themselves. When Barbie dolls will become phones and toy trucks will become real vehicles, the sweetness will fade. (Insert tears).
I love that Christmas is about when just for one day the children can just be children and the only rule is to open all of the gifts that they deserve for just being them from some higher power “far up in the sky” (who cares when we say they’ve been good)…and their gift back to us is letting us watch them do it. When the magic finally does go away, and the surprise becomes knowledge, we will patiently wait until full circle comes around and they will be the ones chugging vodka on Christmas Eve and we will “still” be watching them do that as well and laughing.
Be true, be you and BELIEVE!