How Will Santa Find My House?
I have vivid memories of celebrating Christmas as a little kid. I clearly remember that feeling I would have on Christmas morning…waking up a little too early, listening carefully to see if anyone else was awake, tip-toeing out of my room and checking to see if Santa came down the chimney…and when I realized that he actually did, I would run down the hall to wake my sisters, yell-whispering, “YOU GOTTA WAKE UP…SANTA CAME!!! COME ON!!! LET’S GET MOMMY AND DADDY.”
And my poor parents would do what all devoted, loving parents do on Christmas morning. They would get out of bed, completely bleary-eyed (because after all it was only 6am), and act completely surprised that Santa came.
“Really? He came? Santa came? Well…it’s probably because you have been good girls,” my dad would say (which was always about 80% correct, prompting me to think, Huh…I guess Santa missed that little tantrum earlier this week…very interesting).
While my parents were making their way to the tree, my sisters and I would run around, peaking, peering, trying to assess what was under the wrapping paper…always discovering that Santa did really eat those cookies and feed the carrots to the reindeer.
As long as I live, I will never forget that feeling. Ever. The pure happiness and joy that came with believing completely that Santa knew who I was, and found my house, was total bliss. Bliss that I am very excited implement in my two-year-old daughter’s world on December 25th.
You see, this is the first year that she really gets Christmas. She loves Santa, tells me she wants to hug and kiss him, and totally understands that if she remains on the nice list (despite hovering dangerously near that “other” list due to a determination to avoid sharing at all costs) she will be rewarded. But it occurred to me earlier this month that it’s virtually impossible for my daughter to have the same Christmas morning experience that I recall from my childhood.
Because our family is composed of just Ellie and myself, we’ve made plans to sleep at my parent’s house on Christmas Eve, so that we can enjoy the morning with my family. Honestly, I feel like I am straddling two worlds – the single world where I still define my holidays by my own parents, and the mom world where I want to build special memories specific to my new family. From the moment I had Ellie it was very important to me that I made my apartment a home for her, a place where she felt warmth and love, and this time of a year - a place that Santa can find, to remind her how special she is.
I called my sister (mom to 2 little ones) and told her of my concerns. “I just want her to know that Santa knows how to find her house…because to a little kid, that is one of the best feelings ever.”
“Well,” my sister replied, “You should wrap up one or two presents and sneak them under the tree as you are leaving the house, then when you come back after Christmas, she will see that Santa found her house too.”
I got all teary-eyed, and then told my sister what a genius she really is. I am thinking Santa might leave a little note too, explaining all the reasons that she is so special to her Mommy too.
Merry Christmas…I pray that all of you have a very happy holiday season, and are blessed with peace and joy.