Randomalities, Christmas-Style
Christmas Writing Challenge #4: December Activities

Christmas Writing Challenge #3: Me + The Big Guy in a Red Suit

Writing Prompt: Write about your relationship with Santa Claus.

Most families, it seems, have their unique Old St. Nick relationships.  Write about the specifics of Santa Claus in your family. How did you feel about him? When did you discover the truth, and how did you feel about it?

As an adult, I've known families who don't do the Santa thing at all, or who do it but their kids know who Santa really is. Personally, I am a little bit obsessed with making sure my kids believe in Santa for as long as possible, because I was way too young when I found out the truth: six or seven. It was mostly my fault, as I was incurably curious, and one of my favorite things to do (Christmastime or not) was to look in drawers and corners of closets and under beds, just to see what I could discover that I didn't know before. One day, I was looking under my mom's bed and I discovered a sack of little toys from a department store (ZCMI for you locals!). I sat on the floor between the bed and the wall, playing with one of them, a little clear tube filled with water, with a small hoop and floating balls inside. The base was blue, with a white button, and when you pushed the button, the balls came rushing into the tube, and your goal was to get the balls through the little hoop. I played with it for awhile, and then very carefully put it back---I somehow new, instinctively, not to tell my mom or anyone else what I'd found. When that same toy showed up as one of my Christmas gifts that year, the Santa gig was up.

I don't remember going to visit Santa at the mall as a child. I also don't remember the parties we used to have when I was really little, at some relative's house whose name I've forgotten; I only know we did it because my older sisters and mom have told me we did. Here's one of my favorite photos from one of those Christmas parties (thanks, James, for all your scanning work!):Amy7_santa_edit

I think I was three in this picture. I love the look on my face and that dress---no doubt sewed by my mother---and that I'm clapping my hands.

But I do remember believing in Santa Claus. I remember that tingly anticipation of Christmas Eve, trying to fall asleep in your new pajamas. The best part came right after we'd finally gotten Mom & Dad out of bed and we were all sitting in front of the tree. I loved just looking at all of the gifts under the tree, wondering what they were and which ones were mine.

Even after I knew the Santa truth, I still wanted him to be real, anyway. I tried to create scenarios to disprove my knowledge: my mother was just helping Santa out, or storing the gifts at each individual home made it easier for S. Claus on Christmas Eve. I very consciously wanted the secret to not be spoiled; I wanted to believe without reservation. Even when I was older---12 or 13---I continued wishing despite knowing. The Christmas I was 11 or 12, my grandparents slept over, so Becky and I slept in the basement, next to the "kids' tree" (the "pretty tree" was upstairs), and I stayed awake long after she had fallen asleep, listening for the telltale signs of my parents putting the presents out, but I never heard anything. I know my mom worked hard to keep us all believing---I've never told her how  young I was when I found out, and I always went along with the facade of believing. In fact, to this day I don't think I've ever said the words to her: "I know who Santa really is." Because, if your mom knows you know something, then it's got to be true!

Resolution: As much as I write in journals, I don't think I've ever written down the details of how I make the Santa magic for my kids (where I hide things, for example, or the fact that I've developed a whole other handwriting style that I use only for the tags on Santa's gifts). This year, I will!




Thank you for posting the writing challenges. I didn't discover them until yesterday and I am still learning on how to blog..but I think it will be fun to participate.


I'm a little behind on these challenges, but I'll get there. Amy, thank you, thank you for putting these challenges out there!


Amy, as you can see, I've been thinking of this and appreciate your question! I really have to talk to my Mom, funny how your perception of reality is a little different when you are little. So glad to be writing these memories down......take care you, Kasandra

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