I received an email from my brother the other day. It contained a picture, he had entitled, “my daughter’s first trip to see Santa”. I realized in that moment that we don’t have any pictures of this event with either of our girls. I know they have seen Santa once or twice maybe with my in-laws, but it has never been a big trip for us each year.
With DJ, we were back in Iowa, she was young & happy, and I decided there was no point in possibly scaring her for life. She was at that age where it would have gone really well or really horribly. We error’d on the side of caution and skipped the visit.
When Indigo was 2, we were in San Diego for Christmas with the Hubby’s grandmother. She had arranged through a fund raiser at the local fire department to have Santa deliver some small presents on Christmas eve. DJ was pretty shy but shook his hand and wished him a merry Christmas. Indigo, on the other hand, went screaming from the room. She didn’t care who that man in the big red suit was, but she wanted nothing to do with him. Even after he left, we had to reassure her that he was not coming back.
In the years to come, this was an annual concern for Indigo. If you would ask if she was excited Santa was coming, she would say: “No. He’s a bad man, and I don’t want him in my house.” We assured her that he would just drop the presents down the chimney and wouldn’t actually enter the house. She wanted nothing to do with him and would prefer he stayed away, truth be told.
How we have gotten this far without a child ceasing to believe in Santa is beyond me. We talk about Santa, but we can’t visit Santa. The whole “writing a letter to Santa” has also been neglected. But, then again, that’s fine. Growing up, Santa was supposed to surprise you with a gift you didn’t expect on Christmas. It was a gift Santa knew you wanted. I guess maybe that’s why Santa works in our house. He uses magic to know what kids want.
As for traditions, we do have the girls write Santa a Christmas note that sits with his milk and cookies. Santa does wrap with paper that the Hubby and I hide from the kids. We stay up late to make sure they are asleep before we fill stockings and the like. And, we get up early like the kids. I mean, you have to do that – Santa has come.
So, I guess, while we don’t have photos of our kids perched on the knee of Santa, we have still managed to instill the magic.