How about a Christmas tale? This Saturday would be my mom’s 72nd birthday. That is poorly worded. It still is her birthday and a time to reflect on our memories of her, right? And here is one such memory I thought of last night.
Years ago, I was at that certain point in life. You know, the age of disbelief. I was a little older than most kids when I started to see the flaws in the Father Christmas tradition. The logistics just didn’t add up. How could an old fat man get around the world in one night with only a magical sleigh? And if that didn’t stump me, how could he possibly get inside each and every house and home on the whole entire planet? And if I was still hanging on with all information, how could he possibly eat so many cookies in so little time?
I didn’t want to verbalize my thoughts. If I acknowledged my suspicions I knew I would start a cataclysmic chain of events that would lead to me having to (gulp) grow up. Nothing would ever be the same. Life would pretty much be downhill from that point forward.
Okay, maybe I didn’t quite understand the outcome at the time. But it is true. Life never really recovers once you are with the “in” crowd. Seeing the wizard behind the curtain changes everything. And really, not in a good way.
So there I metaphorically stood at that juncture. I arrived a little later than most. Earlier than some. I wanted to hold onto the magic of the season but logic is never on magic’s side.
That Christmas I received a letter from Santa. He took the time to write a whole page. It was very nice of him to take time out of his busy schedule to write. I can’t really remember what he told me. He probably told me not to listen to the unbelievers. I’m sure I still have the letter somewhere. I really should find it. It probably would fetch a handsome price on eBay.
The first thing I noticed about the letter is the handwriting. “It looks like your writing,” I told my mom.
“No,” she said. “Look, how the letters lean. This is written by a left-handed person. I am right-handed.”
I looked at the letter again not entirely convinced. But that was not the time to scrutinize the gift I had been given. I was offered a loophole in logic and I took it. I wanted it to be true. I wanted to still believe. And so I made myself believe.
A few years later I learned my mom was ambidextrous. She could write with her left hand pretty darn well. But what I learned that Christmas is my mom was still a child at heart. She loved the true meaning of the Christmas season. But she also wanted to preserve the magic for me as long as possible.
I hope I am just like my mom in that regard. To never lose sight of the wonder of the season. And to let that little kid inside of me out once in a while. I kind of miss her.
2 thoughts on “A Santa Tale”
Ah – that’s really lovely!! 🙂 The lengths mothers will go to to make everything ok for their little ones!
I never had that Father Christmas dilemma, was he real, wasn’t he. Because the church my family was involved in strictly ruled out the keeping of Christmas, because of the date which was originally associated with a pagan festival. So even at the age of 3 I knew that big fat jolly man was an invention! I still secretly liked him though, and the lights, and the tree – an ALL the sparkling things of that season! 😉 There is one thing I’m grateful for my parents for though, and that was at least allowing me to be involved in Christmas celebrations and plays at school, not making me feel like a freak like some parents did, by insisting their children NOT partake in any of it – how embarrassing that must have been for some of those kids! And also my Mum used to make sure to buy me some toys or a doll a month or so before, so that if any friends asked me what I got for Christmas, I wouldn’t have to make it all up (just avoid telling them it was the month before in our house!!)
In some ways, it might be good for children to have something like Father Christmas to work out in their own mind as to weather the stories about him make sense – good brain training for all the other rubbish they will come across in their future life! 😀
I know some people who cater to the Santa story. And others that do not want to start off their child’s life with a lie. Since I was never a parent I never had to face this choice. But I tend to like the magic of the season – as long as it’s separate from the true meaning (even if the date is wrong it’s a nice reminder of the bigger picture).
I don’t like those nativity sets with Santa peaking in. I think that’s a bit much.
But I’m all for the present giving, jolly fat old man – in his own place 🙂