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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Why "Santa" Isn't Coming To My House

Regular readers have probably figured out that I'm a bit messed up in a few areas of my life. Of course they all stem from my childhood, because who us comes out of adolescence unscathed in some way?
And Christmas is no exception for me.
Actually, it's not really Christmas. It's Santa.

Did the Jolly Old Elf visit your house as a child?
Yes, he was a regular at ours, each Dec. 24th. I was always
exciting because in the drafty old farmhouse we grew up in, The Big Guy had to make his entry in MY room!!! That's right! He'd have to sneak right past my sister and me sleeping, because the only intact fireplace left in the house was in our room! The other one was clogged up by the big wood stove my 'rents put in.

Talk about making it hard for a kid to sleep at night!
I thought I might actually get to sneak a peek...

Plus, everyone in the front of the school bus was all hyped up about Saint Nick's arrival and all the loot he'd be packing along.

Now, if you notice what I said (typed?), the kids in the front of the school bus knew all about Santa Claus and his dealings. That was where all the little kids sat.

However, dissidence was building in my head, because rumors were starting to trickle up from the back of the bus (aka, where the 6th graders sat) that some of this HoHoHo business might not be all it's cracked up to be...

That was really troubling to me, because:
A. As we all know: Everything you hear on the school bus is true. I think most people over the age of 30 recognize that the school bus was the major source of information and wisdom back in the day--seeing how we didn't have the Internet back then; and
B. Mom and Dad told me Father Christmas was coming.

What's a first grader to believe?
I double-checked the facts with some key influencers in my life:

  • The babysitter
  • Grandma
  • Siblings
  • Holiday TV specials
  • Mom and Dad
All agreed, yes, Santa Claus was indeed coming.

All of them wouldn't be lying. Right???
I clung to the truth as a knew it, figuring there must be some mistake.

Well, sure enough, the day came one Saturday when my mom was on her every-other-Saturday shift at the hospital. (I know she was working and not home, because that was the only way I could get away with playing with her stuff.)

My sister and I were deep in a session of Dress Up and decided the perfect accessory to whatever ensemble we'd assembled would be Mom's tall, black, shiny go-go boots. (I so wish you-all could meet my mom, because you would chuckle at the thought her wearing go-go boots at some point in her life! I'm chuckling right now!)

That's why I was digging in Mom's closet that fateful day, not long before Christmas.
Total innocence was about to go down in a ball of flaming disappointment as a burning seed of distrust in all that I knew and love and valued and counted on (am I getting a bit dramatic here? Sorry.) would be destroyed by one upward glance!

I happened to look up and, right there, on the top shelf on the right, was exactly what I wanted for Christmas.

And what my brother wanted.
And my sister, too. (Littlest sister was not yet born.)

How could this be? Our entire Santa list was right there, in MOM'S CLOSET!! (Keep in mind, our gifts only came from Santa. The 'rents never claimed to give us anything back then.)

I remember running to get my siblings to show them. Maybe we could figure this out together.
I was truly, truly confused.
And I couldn't ask Mom or Dad, because I kinda, sorta shouldn't have been "borrowing" Mom's shoes. That alone would've earned me a whoopin'.

The siblings and I came up with all sorts of scenarios, like "Maybe Santa dropped them off early" or "Maybe the toys are for our cousins". Anything at all to explain that we hadn't been victims of lies. Finally, we decided to wait and see if that was really the stuff that showed up Christmas morning.

Can I just say, that this was probably the one time I was really hoping I wasn't getting what I wanted for Christmas?
I'm serious here. I really, really felt like the whole world had been lying to me.
How could I face the future knowing that the truth in life was to come from the obnoxious kids sitting in the back of bus number 3???
(Fast-forward a couple years when I started hearing about sex from my fellow bus riders... but I digress...)

Sure enough, Christmas brought exactly what was in the top of Mom's closet. And the cousins didn't get anything close to it.

Right then and there, I decided I was never going to lie to MY kids about Santa and subject them to the crushing knowledge that parents aren't always truthful.
And I haven't.
The grandparents persisted in their efforts to perpetuate this lie upon the next generation, but I felt good knowing that my kids (where were instructed to play along anytime someone brought it up, so we don't ruin the pretend fun for other kids) knew I was always honest.

And that's why "Santa" won't be visiting our house this year.
Or ever.


  1. We taught our kids about Christmas and Santa, but we treated 'Santa' as if he were a comic super hero...enjoy it while you have that great imagination and don't spoil it for the younger siblings and cousin, but don't be too disappointed when you find out that Santa is no more real than Superman.

    My kids immediately learned that even though 'Santa' was not real, the wonderful gifts were and that is all that really mattered to them.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Saturday Surfin!

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  2. Cute story! I remember crying like someone died the day my brothers ruined it for me! My grandma held me and told me it would be ok. Santa still came around for our children and now the grandchildren.

    Im hoppin in from the weekend blog hops and wanted to stop to wish you a wonderful holiday season!

    Nana Poppins (Patty)

  3. WOW! I really don't remember how I found out but do remember my brother was in Kindergarten and the kitchen TV was on and for some reason the 700 Club was on and they just up and announced "Santa" was a farce - I still hate the 700 Club to this day - I think maybe I was afraid if noone in the family believed we would get less gifts!!!!!

  4. I just want to make sure our girls are understanding the true meaning of Christmas and embracing the Christmas spirit. While putting together goody bags for Bear's kindergarten class, I came up one short on two items (we just added a new student this last week to her class0> I explained the situation to her, and I asked her if it would be ok if I put took the two gifts I was short on from her bag and put them in another one. She said, "Mommy, this is more about giving than getting right?" My heart melted!

    Santa is coming, with the hope that his spirit will always visit them every year. It is a magical time of year if you truly know where to look for it.

  5. A fun story. You telling me there isn't a Santa??????? Bummer. Then who eats all the cookies and the milk I always put out?