Have you been good this year? Have you been bad? When it comes to children does it really matter? Santa Claus is coming to town! Oh how the little ones run around praising dear, old Santa. The children write letters and even leave out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve night for him. As a matter of fact, children will sit on his lap and tell him their heart’s desire.
In the meantime we, the unappreciated, overly tired and overly worked parents, will spend all day at our various jobs, continue to take care of our families while trying to find moments when no one needs us so we can sneak into the malls and fulfill the myth of an all-loving, all-forgiving and all-giving Santa Claus. How thoughtful of him.
When I was a little girl, I had no idea how hard Santa’s job was and I definitely didn’t realize how tired he must have been year in and year out. I wonder if Santa ever got irritated at inflation, the high cost of living and just how tricky it is to keep this idea of ‘Christmas Perfect’ an ongoing reality? Perhaps this is why his cheeks are always red.
Sometimes preparing for Christmas can be so exhausting. For one, it is cold this time of year and simply mustering up enough heat to get from the car to the store and back again is an effort in and of itself. I swear, if I found coal and a bundle of sticks in my stocking I would go ahead and make a fire to stay warm.
Then there is the wondrous shopping part of getting Santa’s presents for the children. Will she like this? Is he old enough to enjoy this? Will this make too much of a mess? How many moments of unadulterated silence will this buy me?
The questions are many and the answered are second-guessed. When it comes to pleasing our children with gifts, I suppose we can only do the best we can and hope it is enough. As for the rest of it, in time those intricate moments of warmth, magic and joy will guide them to their own sense of Christmas cheer because when they look back they will realize it never was the gifts. Only love can keep cherished memories alive throughout the years.
Of course, it is a thankless task. The day my child actually sits on my lap and hands me a plate of cookies will probably be the day she’s buttering me up to let me know she is sending me to a nursing home.
On second thought, she’ll probably pre-plan the arrangements and let me know by writing a letter.