Saturday, December 25, 2010

Listen! I just heard reindeer hooves on the Roof!

For years after I knew Santa was not really Santa, I recall still wanting to believe. The image of Santa in my heart and in my mind was so intense and I loved him so much that denial was present for some time even though the rational part of my brain told me to grow up, I really did not want to. At some point, I got on with it as we all do, but every year, I still get a little warm and fuzzy when I see certain visual images of the fat old guy. I especially like those sort of retro images of him with the fat rosy cheeks and when my daughter was little, I always tried to wrap the "Santa" presents in Santa paper just to emphasize where they came from. Not Toys Are Us or The Bay or Mastermind - no my dear - those packages came all the way from the North Pole and that's how you could tell - Santa only uses paper with his face on it - his stamp so to speak. I am quite sure she never noticed this little attempt of mine to convince her he was real, but it was something I just had to do, likely to re-visit my own lost innocence as much as preserve the magic for her in some small way. Now that she is 16, she is long past believing in jolly old St. Nick, but part of me wishes she still did. So, last night, Christmas Eve, as the smell of dinner was wafting through the house, the fire was burning, the candles were lit, and we were listening to Charlie Brown's Christmas (a tradition on Christmas eve in this house) I decided to try to re-create some magic. My jaded teen was partaking in the evening somewhat (she was in the room at least) even though she was sitting with her laptop surfing god knows what non-Christmassy sites, while I was busy lighting enough candles to illuminate the entire neighbourhood, I slipped past her unseen to the front door and opened it, left it open for a few seconds, then closed it. Our alarm system makes an annoying chime every time the door opens, so she would have heard it. I then slipped back past her - ignored and unseen again and went into the kitchen. In a loud voice, I said to my husband, "Did you hear the front door just now?" He turns to me and says - "yes, I did". I then said "Were you out in the front porch?", loud enough for her to hear of course and he says, "no, I have been in here the whole time." "Well who came in the door then," I said to him, then to her - "Emma, were you out in the front porch? - did you hear the front door?" She was somewhat intrigued now, and looked up from her lifeline, I mean, computer, and said "NO - I wasn't." So now my acting skills really took over - I got all "well then what's going on? Who came in the door - this is creepy - Emma! come with me - lets go see - I don't want to go alone - so she actually gets off her ass, and we walk together over to the door, creeping sort of to see if someone is there - and all she sees is a Christmas stocking hanging on the closet door knob. It was not there before. "What's that?" I ask. She looks at it, rolls her eyes and says - "God, you guys are such jerks." I try to continue the facade and say "What are you talking about - I didn't put that there - it must have been Santa who came in." Another roll of the eyes, but this time a bit of a softer look on her face, a little smile and for just a nano-second, some of that old magic came back and she was 4 again. Now, it was Christmas, even if halfway through dinner she asked if she could put Elvis's greatest hits on the stereo instead of Charlie Brown - I had had my moment and it didn't matter what transpired after that. Merry Christmas everyone. Ho! Ho! Ho!

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