I love Christmas day but find it anti climatic. The kids rip open Presents and it's over. The pageantry is in the eve prior.
After reading Twas the Night Before Christmas, the kids went to bed but did not fall asleep til 2 AM. This was problematic as we let them sneak down to see Santa. Our bedtime was determined by their falling asleep- Santa won't come if your awake afterall- putting on this Santa charade, the kids falling back to sleep and the time to put out the presents.
We cleaned the house biding our time until finally movement ceased upstairs. I helped Tony get into his outfit. Usually I'm with at least one kid in bed but this year Layla had already fallen asleep. It was fun transforming my husband into Santa. A little odd but overall sweet. I wish I had a picture of me kissing Santa. Why didn't I think of that.
It just made me reflect on what an incredible daddy my kids have.
Santa suited up I went up and rang a sleigh bell in the girls room to wake them and stealthily tossed it back out of their room. They stirred but didn't quite wake so I whisper yelled "did you hear that ?"
Groggily, wiping sleep from their eyes they both simultaneously whispered
But they didn't move.
I had to say yes Santa and then laci sat up like electric and rushed the door. Ella still lifeless was being scooped up in my arms. Laci was already down the Hall.
I finally caught up to a delirious Laci- she's very odd when woken up from deep sleep and managed to both wake her into full consciousness and stop her from bolting down the stairs.
We scooted quietly down the stairs , aside from my alert cough to Santa- we need them to be sleepy so they arent alert enough to catch on. At the bottom I assigned posts. Ella and I would sit on the floor hiding behind the side of a chair while laci would stay on the stairs peeking Around the wall and using the back of the same chair for cover.
Ella clung to me fiercely while laci popped up and down from behind her furniture fort with skills honed from using her spy gear that made up the bulk of her presents last year.
Suddenly she decided shed seen enough or had been seen, and bolted up the stairs despite my shouts to stay. Santa had put out presents she had seen what she came to see. This triggered a fear response to the clinging Ella who now buried her head in my neck long lashes scrunched tight as she willed her eyes to forget shed seen anything.
I kept trying to turn her head and pry open her eyes - yes I did- to no avail. My poor husband was putting on a show for no one. I sat back against the wall and watched, smiling to myself how blessed I was to have such a family and such moments- even if they didn't go as intended. As Santa picked up a snow globe in his gloved hand, turning it around and holding it high in the air ( everyone who has seen The Santa Clause knows snow globes are important to Santa) I got sucked into the illusion forgetting that I tightened that big black belt over a pillow on my husbands stomach and believed for a moment that Santa was here. How I wished my kids were watching that with me.
He was finishing up the presents and I got sad knowing he was about to his dancing Santa routine without laci to watch her favorite part. I was able to get Ella to take a brief peek of him eating a cookie and as he downed some milk that had sat on the counter far too long I heads creaks on the steps. Laci had returned.
I waved her to hurry up and whispered "he's eating your cookies"
She told me to be quiet - her presents were at stake- and reassumed her position.
Then Santa examined a singing snoopy decoration and laci bounced a little. We giggled knowing he was going to finally do a christmas jig. I watched her face light up and the attittude and skepticism of whatever stage this age is considered wash away as the magic of Christmas filled our downstairs. And of course, I started to cry.
I giggled again to stifle the tears and she sternly shushed me finger to lip with a big smile. We watched together, as Santa danced about our kitchen to a hallmark toy. I watched , perhaps For the last time, my baby girl for whom this tradition was started, stared in awe struck wonder at a large red velvet cloaked stranger dancing loving every minute, believing whole heartedly santa was in our midst.
I started to break down and was glad that Santa ho ho hoed and made his exit so laci wouldn't see me too busy scurrying back to the safety of bed - in case he flew by the window to check sleep status. Glad for the dark I sucked back sobs As u pried ellas gripping arms from my neck, lashes still clenched shut, And tucked them in.
" he did it again mama. Santa danced. I love that."
"maybe he does it just for you Laci. "
I kissed and tucked quickly the emotions catching up to me. I barely had my bedroom door shut when the sobs came.
I was tired so emotions were exaggerated, perhaps not, and k cried and I sobbed. I replayed the look on her face, the glint of sheer joy and excitement in her eye and realized I may never see that on Christmas eve again. That magic was hard fought for this year, and I am no match for age and maturity, for the cold hand of worldly reality that steals away childhood fantasies one by one.
I cried, sobbed for twenty minutes. I love the magic of childhood so much. Seeing it through their eyes is beautiful and I hate that is being taken from her, even if it is only natural.
As sad as I was that this was likely our last Christmas like this with her, it was our best Santa moment together, maybe for that very reason.
"Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go"<\blockquote>
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