It is Christmas time around my house and we are in full effect. The tree is decorated, gifts are purchased and wrapped from Santa, and holiday music fills the rooms of my home. This time of the year is warm. My son Anthony is eight and I understand this year is critical for his belief. He rides the bus with kids up to 12 years old. Of course, he has mentioned that they say Santa is not real. I quickly reply with feeling pity for those children. I explain to Anthony if you don’t believe, Santa has no magic to make it to your house, without magic no presents are left that year, and with no presents the belief of Santa goes away entirely, and Santa’s magic never comes back. He looked at me with his wide, big brown eyes and yells “I BELIEVE!!!!” I think he really does which is a blessing because Grace is only 3, and I do not want her to lose her innocence too soon in this life. There are so many obstacles these days causing our youth to lose their innocence too soon, and I would like to have her hold her belief of Santa for as long as possible.
Five years ago, when Anthony was only 3, we lived in a decent condo for a young couple with a child. However, Anthony was very observant that we did not have a chimney for Santa nor did he know the passcode at the entrance. My mother in-law Kris bought us a Santa Key. It is a very special, silver skeleton key that you hang on the outside of your door Christmas Eve for Santa to let himself in. I introduced the key to Grace last night. I was getting her washed up and in jammies while Anthony was in the shower. I started to tell her about the key, and since we do not have a chimney for Santa, we need to be sure to leave it out on Christmas Eve. We finish our story and the task of jammies. Grace wants to see. I take her to the front door. Every year when I decorate for Christmas this 8 inch key shows up. I wrap the bright red ribbon it hangs from around the bell to the side of my front door. If I put it anywhere else, I will forget to have the kids put it out on Christmas Eve. I let her hold it as I read the card. The card goes something like:
Just leave Santa a key on the outside of the door and he will let himself in.
Grace seemed absolutely enthralled with the realization that the key she holds will let Santa in our locked home. Immediately, her three year old self processed that she needed to leave it tonight to make Santa come tomorrow. Explaining to a three year old, who knows it all, that the key does not bring Santa, but when he comes on Christmas Eve his key will let him open our door, was a daunting task. She still does not understand, but with Christmas Eve being only 2 days away, I am sure she will get the hang of it.
I have to work Christmas Eve during the day until 3pm. At that time I will rush to get Grace from daycare, get home to bake Monkey Bread for my grandmother’s dinner that night. After we spend time with our family at my grandmother’s apartment, we will go get Anthony from his father’s house a little ways down the road. This is the first Christmas morning I have had with him in 3 years and I am so excited. Our custody agreement is severely screwed up. When we get home, the kids will put on jammies, get the cookies we baked all day Sunday, and put them out with a glass of milk for the jolly man. We will put the key on the outside of the door, and snuggle up on the couch to read “A Night Before Christmas.” After the book is done, we will tuck the children in bed for sugar plums to dance in their heads. My husband and I will relax about an hour to make sure they are good and asleep before our work begins. We will haul all the perfectly wrapped presents from under our basement steps upstairs so I can perfectly arrange them. I will add the small trinkets to each of our stockings seamlessly placing them so each stocking seems never ending. Kyle will bring in our dog Remy’s new bed, and I will place her new deer antlers on them wrapped in a red bow. Kyle will eat a few bites from each cookie and drink the milk. My handwriting is very identifiable by Anthony at this point, so I will direct Kyle what to write on a letter from Santa. Next to the letter I will lay the wish list they created with check marks of what Santa was able to bring from their list. We create the list from the Toys R Us big catalog, cut and paste, and since my shopping was done early this year I tried to point them towards items already wrapped with their names on it. After two parents try to make it seem Santa was really here, we will tuck ourselves into bed around 1am, only to be awaken with such a clatter no later than 6am by two very excited, smiling, eager little ones. However, rules are they have to wait for me to get my camera and my coffee to brew.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOODNIGHT!