The day my kids stop believing in Santa will be a day that physically hurts my heart because I know that little by little from that point on, their innocence will be slowly fading away. I can remember exactly when I stopped believing as a little girl. Thanks to some punk-ass blabber mouths at school and a Santa with his head up his jolly old keister, my childhood faith in the magic of Christmas was crushed like a candy cane.
Growing up, I always LOVED Christmas. I absolutely loved the idea of Santa and all the wonder surrounding him. So, when some of the kids at school really started talking trash about the big man, I tried like hell to block out all their comments. I didn’t want to buy into this whole idea that it was really just our parents buying all that crap for us. As much as I tried, though, some of these accusations were sinking in, and I, too, started to question whether this one guy could really deliver ALL those presents to ALL those kids in just one flipping night. My suspicions were finally confirmed when a Santa hired by my parents made a pre-Christmas stop at our house that year.
I was so excited when I answered the door that night to find a red-suited dude with a beard standing right there on our very own porch. I breathed a sigh of relief that maybe all those yahoos at school really were just messing with me. He ho-ho-ho’d his way into our living room with his big bag full of gifts and made himself right at home on our loveseat. As he reached into his bag of tricks, my heart skipped a beat in anticipation of what he’d pull outta there for little ‘ol me. But what he pulled out only caused my brain to wonder just what in the hell this North-Poled nitwit had been smoking before he flew into town.
The merry old fool had mistakingly thought that the wrapped boxes my mom had displayed on the front porch FOR DECORATION were presents that he was supposed to bring inside for me. The jackass had the audacity to try to pass off one of these said boxes to me! I instantly recognized the wrapping paper and the bow and knew that the only thing inside that box was a brick to weigh it down. Was this moron actually trying to give me a concrete slab as a gift? I looked first at my mom and then at my dad for some sort of reassurance that this was all just a great big joke. Their horrified looks weren’t doing much to ease my anxiety, though. Either this man had lost his damn mind, I had been a really really naughty girl, or my parents really were Santa Claus after all.
After he left our house, my parents scrambled for some sort of an explanation and simply told me that Santa had sent one of his helpers since he was so swamped with toy orders, and that this guy had obviously gotten confused about the gifts. I didn’t really buy it though and never truly believed in the legend much more after that night. And now that I’m a parent myself, I can’t stand the thought of this same scenario playing out with my own kids. I think I’ll start bribing all their friends now to keep their little traps shut about the real deal. So what if I’ve got the only sixteen year old twins who still listen for reindeer hooves on the roof and wait for a fat man to pop out of the chimney? Aren’t the holidays a whole lot happier if you at least have faith in something?