Monday, December 7, 2009
Santa, Sisters And Believing
When I was 8 years old, my sister (aged 10) started telling me that Santa wasn't, you know, (whisper this bit) real. I refused to believe her. After all, how on earth could you not believe that a fat man from the North Pole got around in a sleigh led by flying reindeer every year, delivering toys to every child in the world? Or, more to the point, why would I believe my sister over my parents, who still insisted he was real?
Not happy that I didn't believe her, Kate took me to Mum and Dad's room and showed me where the Christmas presents were hidden (under the bed - very original). There were the games and toys we had each asked for and I was so excited. Then my sister said to me, 'Just wait and see on Christmas morning who they say these presents are from'.
So, Christmas morning came and the presents that had been under the bed were, of course, from Santa.
I had two problems that day. Firstly, trying to act surprised took all my energy. I was, and still am, a terrible liar. And secondly, the shock that Kate had been right and Mum and Dad had been lying to me. That was a devastating thought.
Every now and then I think back to that year and wonder if I really should do the same to my daughter. There are lots of people who don't let their kids believe in Santa, proud that they don't lie to their children. But then I think further back to the time that I did believe and, more recently, I see the excitement on my nieces' and nephews' faces on Christmas Day. I remember, and I see, the feeling of pure excitement and innocent belief that this magical person not only brought presents, but also remembered to think of them. It makes children feel special.
That is what I believe in.
(This post has been inspired by the lovely Naomi at Under the Yardarm, who wrote a post the other day about this bittersweet time in her life - her kids finding out the truth).
Posted at 8:30 AM