We're having a "snow day" here....one of those days when the weather changes your plans. The "plans" were to have another go at Christmas shopping, but with the snow, sleet, ice and general "ick" outside it seemed wiser to just stay inside today. I've been working on Christmas cards, Celtic Solstice clue #2, a bit of wrapping and organizing. So with time to think and the white landscape outside for inspiration my thoughts have drifted back to Santa.
That picture above stood on my father's dresser for a long, long time. I would guess that I'm about three in that picture. (The snow pants look a bit tight. My mother's tactic was, "Buy them big, wear them for at least two years!) The thing I remember most about Santa is that EVERY year when he left my presents he wrote me a letter! He must have written it as he was eating the cookies and drinking the milk that I left for him in the kitchen. I also left some water outside for his reindeer and a few carrots for them to eat. Toys and gifts being left for me was always a nice surprise but just as amazing was the cookie plate, empty except for crumbs, and the empty glass of milk. His letter usually told me that he was glad I had been and good girl and he hoped I would continue on that path for the next year, obeying my parents and helping around the house.
Eventually as I grew up I realized that Santa's handwriting was very similar to my father's. I was in school by then and with the help of my peers I began to realize that Santa wasn't as real as my younger self thought. But, I couldn't tell my parents. I was afraid to ruin their Christmas! A little background might help me explain this: I am the youngest of four by 11 years. When I was born, my siblings were 15, 13 and 11. So there were no slightly older siblings to burst my Santa bubble early on. In fact it wasn't long before my siblings were out of the house and either married or in college. I somehow realized that once I admitted that I didn't believe in Santa, my parents would have no one left to "create Santa" for. So I went along with it for 2 or 3 more years to keep from disappointing them. They truly seemed to love making Christmas come alive for me and I didn't know what would happen to the holiday once I announced the truth. But eventually my wise mother realized that it was time and casually, one early December asked me about Santa. I had to admit that I realized who wrote the notes and ate the cookies and milk.
Amazingly my parents took it pretty well; Christmas went on, although the cookies, milk, reindeer food and letters didn't. The spirit of Santa lived on in our house and there were soon grandchildren for them to share it with - but of course, Santa's visit for them occurred at their own house, not ours. Hence, no need to resurrect the Santa letters and snacks. I still remember the magic, though. And I'm glad to have lived the magic.
So, I'm curious. Did you grow up believing in Santa? How/when did things change? I'd love to hear any Santa memories you'd like to share. HO HO HO!!