by Kalí Rourke
I begin with the fact that I am a Christian, attend church, and yes, I know the reason for the season.
That said, my husband and I decided to make Santa Claus the spirit of generosity in our house and to make it FUN! As the girls grew old enough to appreciate it, there was always a special last present from "Santa Claus," and it was often the most desired gift on their list.
But that was not the good part, believe it or not!
Each year Santa was left a cookie or two, a glass of milk, and perhaps a little treat for his reindeer by our daughters. He always responded with bites and sips taken from all and with a lovely, handwritten thank you note to them.
The delight on their faces each Christmas morning as they discovered the evidence of Santa's visit will live in our hearts forever. One year there were ashy footprints from the fireplace to the dining room. Another year, reindeer prints and reindeer poop (oatmeal mixed with chocolate powder and glitter) joined the mix. (Note: Do NOT do this on the carpet!)
As they added their precious gerbils to our family, Gabrielle and Xena had to join the party and those clever little rodents shredded some festive wrapping paper to decorate their cage and managed to put some of their little chew toys into the girls' stockings.
Time went by and Santa got messier. Sometimes he apologized for making a mess, saying he tried to clean up but ran out of time and didn't have time to put the Dustbuster away. 🙂
The girls started admonishing Santa in their yearly notes, to "be neater!"
Inevitably, they asked, "Is Santa real? Should we believe in him?"
My husband and I were prepared. We explained that Santa was merely the spirit of generosity and giving in our home, and when the time came that they no longer wanted to believe in him, he would go away. It was that simple. They looked at each other and decided to believe just a little longer, but one year they had both expressed their doubts and so that was a special Christmas morning.
Santa said goodbye. He thanked them for believing in him so long and said he knew that their lives would be filled with happy Christmases. Then he added, "I really tried to be neat this year and even grabbed a shower, but I seem to have forgotten something important, and I can't remember what it is! I am sure you will figure it out. Love, Santa."
Hanging on the light fixture in the dining room, in all its red and green glory was a huge pair of Santa's boxer shorts. Giggles galore, and we said a fond goodbye to a glorious family tradition that may very well be revived with the next generation of beautiful children.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Kalí Rourke is a wife, mother, writer, singer, volunteer, proud Seedling Mentor and a champion for children’s literacy through BookSpring. She blogs at Kalí's Musings where this post also appears, and A Burning Journey – One Woman’s Experience with Burning Mouth Syndrome.