Growing up, oh yeah, we were a Santa Claus Family. I had no reason to believe that Santa Claus wasn't real, after all, he wrapped presents in different paper than Mom and Dad and his handwriting was different (he wrote in all capital letters and everyone knows moms and dads don't do that). Some argue that Santa Claus promotes greediness and consumerism to small children, I think he promotes generosity and innocence and those are the traits I want Santa Claus to embody to Lana when she's older. All this talk about Santa Claus brings to mind my very first Santa Claus memory.
I was probably four-years-old and my family was at my Grandma Carol's in Utah for Christmas. Grandma Carol and Grandpa Pat were spoiling us on Christmas Eve. I remember my cousins Zach, Daniel and Cody were there. Jennifer must have been there too, but she was probably only a year old. Zach and I are similar in age and Dan is a few years older. Grandma and Grandpa told all us kids that Santa Claus might be coming to their house, so if we're good and play nicely together in the basement, they'd call us upstairs when he arrived. Zach and I were so excited. Santa Claus! Really! At Grandma's House! We both were about to burst. Then cousin Daniel did the unthinkable. He looked right at us and said, "Santa isn't real, it's just one of our dads dressed up." I looked at cousin Zach in time to see his face fall and I'm sure I looked just as broken-hearted. Before we could fully discuss this new information, Grandma yelled down the stairs that Santa Claus was here. We tripped over each other to be the first to the top. Even though we were excited, Zach and I were very suspicious. Was this Santa Claus real? Was cousin Daniel right? I looked at the man in the red suit. He didn't look like my dad and he didn't look like Daniel and Zach's dad either. In fact, there were our dads, sitting at the table, watching us and smiling. I ran up to Santa Claus and gave him a big hug. Of course he was real. He was right here and I was hugging him. How could I have ever doubted? That night, a child's faith in the impossible was was not only restored, it was strengthened.
Thanks Grandpa and Grandma. That night has always meant a lot to me.
A few years ago, I was laughing about this story with my Grandma Carol and I just had to ask. "So Grams, who did come over and play Santa Claus that night?" She answered perfectly, "I don't know what you mean. You thought it was the real Santa Claus, so of course it was."
So, what's your best Santa Claus story? Screaming at the creepy mall Santa when you were a kid? Pulling off his beard because your friends dared you to? Are you now making Santa Claus memories with your own kids? Please share and leave a comment.