There were a few years in there when I didn’t believe in you. On many Christmas mornings after our fair share of teeth gnashing disguised as smiles, last minute runs for batteries, and wrong sizes, I sometimes felt as if you, this magical creature who is supposed to know everything, were more trouble than you were worth. Just so you know, I’m past that.
The pimping out of the Christmas holiday was a process. It’s hard to pinpoint when you went from being symbolic to central to that elusive thing we call the Christmas spirit. We are all seduced at some point into thinking the Christmas spirit is something ushered in with moonlight on the breast of a new fallen snow, animated elves in department store windows, and Gap commercials. We can’t wait, we say, forgetting that the spirit and the wait are close to the same thing. We are pregnant with it and think we are ready to pop, when really, we’ve got a few days.
We become active and forgetful. We threaten our children with lumps of coal. We hide things, and then forget where. We save , splurge and measure in numbers and volume. We speak of how it will all be worth it just to see the look on our childrens’ faces. It almost seems as if we are doing things to forget why we are waiting. Then when Christmas morning finally arrives, we forget that the tree that an hour ago looked so promising, only appears to be losing its sparkle.
For several years I made the mistake of thinking that a credit card, Dave and I were all there was to you. I willingly jumped on the chance to tell my children bold faced lies, essentially using you, all because of couple of childhood books and songs.
In 1823 when Clement Moore wrote “A Visit from Saint Nicholas,” I doubt he meant for the gift giving debacle we know today to turn into anything more than a few sugarplums, whatever the heck those are, and a ripe orange in the toe of a Christmas stocking. I doubt Moore meant for it to turn into anything at all.
Unwittingly you became this made up good guy who got all the credit. I missed the heck out of the you I remember from childhood. Frankly I liked the made up version of you better than this new reality of me being responsible for upholding your image.
On occasion I’ve liked the made up version of myself better than the reality too. I have often missed or forgotten the point:
We are humans, always imperfect, often boastful, rude, and selfish. Still, we are supposed to be learning that underneath all the boxes and bows and festivity, we are Santa too.
Merry Christmas! Please feel no guilt this year on Christmas Eve when you’re actually off in Tahiti or somewhere sipping Mai Tais with the Mrs. We got this one.
PS – If you do go back to to the ma in her kerchief, finger on the side of your nose and eight tiny reindeer business, please stop by. And please bring Sparkle a pony.
Head over to see more of Mama Kat’s writing workshop. I love the prompts she comes up with! I’m still sick and kind of pitiful. I hope I don’t come across as too Charlie Brown-like or anything in today’s post. If so, let’s blame the cough syrup.