|From article, Santa Spotted by NORAD|
So, it was my younger sister who told me that Santa Claus might not be as real as I would like. I'd had inklings of course, I'm not that daft, but I didn't really want to not believe. I loved the magic of Santa and leaving out cookies and milk with sugar for the reindeer. Writing him a note to leave on the table, hoping he and the reindeer were having a good night. There was nothing quite like getting back to my house on Christmas Eve from my grandmother's and rushing off to bed because the next day was going to be the best day of the year. A little magic is lost when I realized that the presents had been moved from my grandmother's during the Christmas Eve festivities, that your dad was the one who ate the cookies and that your mom was the one who left the note, written with her left hand so we wouldn't recognize the writing.
But, on some level, I made a deal with my eight year old self. OK, so there wasn't a physical being called Santa who came down my chimney but the idea of Santa and everything he stands for? I'll believe in that until the day I die. Because, well, I don't want to live in a world without a Santa Claus, without that possibility of magic and kindness and miracles. In fact, I think the world could all use more believers in things like that. This was long before I read Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus but obviously that is an editorial after my own heart. In fact, I consider it required reading about this time of year.
So, that little piece of my heart that is eight years old forever still gets excited for Christmas Eve and that moment when I get to go to bed. I know Mom and Dad are out in the family room putting out the gifts but I still love going down the hall and seeing it on Christmas morning, the mountains of gifts radiating from the tree and the overflowing stockings sitting in the easy chair because they are too heavy to hang back up. Even now, there is no room more magical than the family room all lit up on Christmas morning with snow out the window. The snow though is becoming more rare (curse you global warming!).
But one of the best parts of the season is that we still have little ones in the family who truly believe. For years, I was Santa for my cousin. I'd call to get the inside scoop on his school and friends and things he'd done that year and then write up a letter from Santa to send to him. I loved coming up with the picture of the North Pole for him. I usually re-read some of them about this time of year too. It was fun to think up why elves would be putting together an iPod or where a sports jersey might come from if Santa needed one. Today's kids are smart - you have to stay ahead of them!
While my cousin has long outgrown those letters, I still get to hear from my other little second cousins about their excitement, about all the things they found on Christmas morning (paw prints in the yard! half eaten carrots!) and to share for a little while in that absolute certainty that of course Santa exists, how could he not?
As I head home for the holidays, I wish all of you and your families the very best and magical moments the season has to offer. Happy Christmas Everyone!