I miss Santa


I stand in line to purchase yet another item from the very detailed list each child has given me and realize I am not happy. Holiday shopping feels like a to-do list and this is not how I want it to be. I miss the excitement, the mystery, and the magic.

I miss the excitement as Nick asked for blue presents from Santa when he was very little. It did not matter what was inside, the box just had to be blue. He would squirm and screech with excitement when he saw the bright blue wrapping underneath the Christmas tree. No particular and detailed requests, just the color blue brought peels of pleasure.

I miss the mystery as he sat in the middle of Lord and Taylor when he was 3-years old to meditate in order to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas. No need for letters, calls, or sitting on Santa’s lap. He had a direct line to the big man and that worked beautifully until Nick was old enough to keep his communication with Santa a secret. There were many years I crossed my fingers and hoped I got it right.

I miss the magic when the children were younger and still believed. One time, when Katy was about 2 ½ years old, we sat by the tree on Christmas Eve near Santa’s hummus, crackers and juice (we knew Santa got sick of milk and cookies). We were reading The Night Before Christmas and Katy toddled off of the couch and began eating Santa’s snack.

I was horrified and exclaimed that Santa needed his snack. Katy took another gigantic bite, drank a deep drink of juice, wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and replied, “It’s okay. Santa won’t mind sharing. He loves me!”

I miss Nick diligently and meticulously following Santa all day on his trek across the country. He would log into Norad Santa and call out each time a new video was posted. We would drop what we were doing to see a glimpse of Santa as he sped away from the Himalayas or St. Petersburg.

I miss the kids jumping up and down on Christmas morning as they opened their Santa sacks.

I miss the glee of their giggles and the shine in their eyes.

I even miss the discovery of Santa – real or not real?

I remember Nick questioning and testing. Will Santa know if I add a late-in-the-game and secret request? (Yes he did, by the way.)

I remember him asking me as we drove home from school one day on our way to pick up Katy. I remember going for it and answering, that yes, I believed with all of my heart that the magic of Santa is real.

I remember Nick’s absolute certainty the next year as he confronted us with letters from Santa and the Easter Bunny. We overreached trying to convince Nick of the reality of Santa and Greg’s left-handed writing, used for both Santa and the Easter Bunny, were our undoing.

I remember as Katy questioned me a few years later and though she was certain Santa was real, she just knew he could not get into every home around the world on Christmas Eve. He needed our help and she made me promise that I would help him even though she knew he couldn’t get to our house.

Now, as I stand in line, I put down the very specifically requested gifts and walk out of the store. I decide I want some excitement, mystery and magic this year too.

I decide I am going to get a few surprises this year. Yes, the kids want very particular things, but quite frankly, they have enough already. I am going to get a few things that will bring a little mystery and hopefully some excitement into the holiday.

Because, you know what? I really do miss Santa. I miss his mystery and I miss his magic. I miss the excitement he creates just by being him and creating surprise for the little ones.

I do miss Santa, but, like Katy, I know he’s real. He just needs a little help to make his magic.

Wishing you joy and magic this holiday season,