I know it sounds a little silly for a 30-something woman to be saying this, but I believe in Santa. More than just the idea that the spirit of St. Nicholas lives on in each of us, I believe in the magic that Santa can bring. Maybe it’s just the little girl still inside of me who didn’t just want to enjoy the rewards Santa would bring from a year of being (somewhat, sort of, ok not really but I hear he was a forgiving man) nice, I was the odd little girl whose true wish was to be Santa. I longed for the magic he possessed to make millions of kids smile, to have his ability to change lives, to give hope for one day in the life of a family who might not have hope the remaining 364 days of the year.
And now, that strange little girl finally gets her wish. This year, I AM Santa Claus.
My son is 4.5 years old. Until tonight, I was sure he didn’t believe. Each year, I would talk about Santa. We would attempt to visit Santa at the mall, I’d make cookies, we’d ask him what he wanted to ask for Christmas from Santa. Even this year, at any mention of Santa, my son would look at us cautiously with a sideways glance and half heartedly seem to play along with his parents’ pathetic attempts to make him believe. Then something happened tonight. Something magical. Santa finally became real, to all of us.
For fun (my own almost more than my son’s, as I had almost given up on him believing in Santa), I decided to see where Santa was on the Norad Santa Tracker. My son sat next to me, and as I showed him the map with all of the present icons across Europe, as we watched the videos of Santa in Egypt, Paris, Madagascar and Russia (all places that my son is absolutely obsessed with), my son started talking with rich excitement and enthusiasm, for the first time, about Santa coming to visit our house. We talked about his letter to Santa, about leaving the cookies I was baking on a tray for Santa to thank him for his long journey. My son was amazed. “I can’t believe the reindeer pulled Santa all that way!” “WOW – look at Santa! I saw the great pyramids!” “Look at Santa in Russia – that’s where the firebirds are!” and so on. And that was it. My son, ever the creative sensitive soul, just needed a visual. And those visuals were like 10 pounds of sugar being pumped through my son’s veins in less than 3 minutes. He was hyper beyond hyper the rest of the night.
After his bath, I happened to glance at the TV and saw Santa. “Hey Boo! It’s Santa!” I shouted. Pound, pound, pound he came flying down the stairs totally naked. “IS HE HERE?!!!?” He shouted, his voice bubbling with hope. I explained he would probably be here while we were sleeping, which, according to Santa Tracker actually worked out to be true (my son’s logic would have sniffed it out immediately had the travel time on the website not worked out accordingly).
So Boo wrote his note to Santa. Or rather, he dictated and my husband wrote, since my son was too busy bouncing off the walls and furniture to stay still long enough to write. He wouldn’t stop talking about Santa. About Christmas. About Santa some more.
And there, in the crazy mad span of less than 2 hours of hyper bouncing (literally, he was bouncing) and nonstop louder-than-normal-loud chatter, I became Santa.
Tonight, and I’m guessing through tomorrow, I get to be the one who gives my son undeniable joy. More than the present he has asked for, I know my son is excited about Santa, the magic of Santa, the idea that there is a person who brings joy to little girls and boys all over this amazing earth. And I get to be the one to bring this magic to him. It is all I honestly could ever ask for this Christmas, or any other day of the year.
Thank you, Santa. Thank you for letting me share in your magic.
(And to all my fellow Santa mamas and papas out there, Merry Christmas to you and your little ones. May you all be surrounded by love, and may your holidays be filled with the magic of the season. May you, too, have a Santa in your life who brings you unbelievable hope, love, inspiration, and enough joy to make you bounce off the walls grinning ear-to-ear. You all deserve it, and I wish you a happy year ahead!)