Thursday, December 13, 2012

Do you believe?

It's that time of year when parents of young kids wonder if their children still believe. I know around my kids' school, it's a hot topic. My children are 11 and 8 and while I'm sure this will be the last year for the oldest, I don't want it to be for the youngest. But it seems the curtain gets pulled back earlier and earlier each year. When I told another mom about my oldest still believing, she scoffed and figured my oldest was pulling my leg.

What's wrong with her still believing? This very question got me thinking about when I witnessed the big reveal and to be honest, I don't remember. Most may know I had a sketchy past. We were poor and moved a lot. So holidays and special events were hard. I don't recall a moment where I felt I'd been lied to or found out all mythical creatures were false. I think I always knew but still held on to the possibility of magic.

Although I do remember figuring out about the Tooth Fairy. I must admit, I'm a snooper!

I remember one year we didn't have enough money to get a tree and with all the moving, we didn't have ornaments to cover one if we did. So I made one out of paper and taped it to the wall. I was proud of my paper tree with crayon colored ornaments.

Christmas morning rolled around and I wasn't surprised to find not a single gift beneath the tree. At the age of 10, I was disappointed but understood times were tough around my house. And I think I still wanted to believe in the idea of Santa Clause. Maybe he got lost. Maybe he ran out of toys. Maybe there were other children out there that needed them more.

That morning, a true miracle happened, or at least to my 10 year old self, it did. Late in the morning, my aunt and uncle arrived at our house. We hadn't expected them since they lived over an hour away. They came into our small home with an armful of brightly colored packages. And one box was for me. I slowly unwrapped the shiny colored paper to reveal a shoe box.

They'd given me a brand new pair of white Nike tennis shoes. They weren't fancy. They didn't light up or boost about making me jump higher. In fact, I'm sure they were the ugliest pair based on fashion standards.

But they were mine. All mine.

And that's what I want my children to believe in. The spirit of Santa Claus. Because when the day seemed dark and when a 10 year old kid gets nothing even when they're good all year, a Santa rides in on a late model Nissan with a brightly colored box with thier name on the tag. I cherished those shoes for years and had a hard time parting with them and what they meant to me.

So folks. Hug your kids tighter this year and share a little magic with them. Because even if they know the "truth", they can still believe.


  1. I agree with you, Jen. I don't remember when I found out & I don't think it put a damper on the excitement and my enjoyment of Santa. Even once my sister and I knew, we still played along with it into adulthood.

    I believe it is the spirit of it that makes believing worthwhile. My oldest, who's 14 now, figured it out around 9- because of kids on the bus and at school. My husband and I hated it, but it gave us an opportunity to bring him into the "Santa fold" so our daughter wouldn't find out. She just turned 10 yesterday and I hope she really does still believe. There are times I'm not sure, but even I still believe and I carry on the spirit of Santa every year and I intend to, even when both the kids know the "truth". There's so much more to it than a jolly ol' elf. It's that wonderful feeling I get from the "magic" and "wonder" of it that goes straight to my heart.

    My daughter saw the mall Santa the other day and swore that because we recognized he was the same one who was there last year, that he MUST be the real Santa. But then, as we left Wal-Mart Monday night, the Salvation Army bell ringer looked just like Santa, too, white fluffy beard and red shirt and all. When both the kids saw him, they stopped us and asked if they could donate some money before we could head to the car. That was a proud moment for my husband and me.

    As we walked away, I got choked up when my daughter beamed up at me and whispered, "That's the real Santa!"

    1. I got choked up just reading about it! I think on a day like today, the need to believe is stronger.

  2. My kids are 8, 6, 3, and 1. They are all believers. :) I think my oldest will believe for a long time, she's a dreamer. My son, the six-year-old is more of a sceptic. I worry he'll end up ruining it for the older one some day!
    I don't remember when I found out either. I know I believed for a long time and I hope my kids do, too.
    Lovely post. :)

    1. Thank you for sharing Rachel. My oldest came home yesterday with her missing tooth in an envelop. I just stared at her because I know she doesn't believe anymore but I didn't want to make that leap and say so since she hasn't "officially" announced to me she doesn't. So now I have a gross tooth sitting on my counter staring at me all day!

  3. Magic is what dreams are made of. I think it helps us reach higher as adults.

  4. I agree Amy! We all need a little magic in our lives!