In lieu of an outfit post today, I give you a yuletide confession!
Look. I could blame my parents for allowing this to continue for so long, but the truth is that they were saddled with a psycho-Christmas child and I’m pretty sure they just didn’t know how to break the news.
Every year around Thanksgiving, I would go into a crazed frenzy of wee-elfen delight. This included, but was not limited to: counting down the days until Christmas on a small chalkboard in my room, writing approximately 10 or so letters to Santa, fighting with my younger brother about who got to open the door of the advent calendar that day, insisting on a trip to the tree farm to cut down a REAL tree, insisting on baking approximately 1,900 batches of Christmas cookies, and insisting that we all watch approximately 26 Christmas specials. (Including but not limited to: The Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story, Mickey Mouse’s A Christmas Carol, and anything that involved Christmas and claymation.)
Once, I actually wrote my letter to Santa in September so he’d have a heads-up that I really wanted an American Girl Doll. I figured that the more time he had, the better. After all, he is a busy man.
Lest you think that I was simply a greedy brat, please know that my Christmas crazy also extended to gift-giving. One year, I decided to create a custom-made key holder for one of my uncles in the shape of a fish. This required immense patience on the part of my grandfather, who I charged with the task of helping me. He stood watch while I cut the wood on the jigsaw and then filed down the edges, praying that I would not lose a finger.
Then there was the time that I decided to make Christmas chocolates for all the members of my extended family BY HAND. My mom made multiple trips to the craft store in order to buy me all the required materials, somehow discovered a shop that sold chocolate in multiple colors, and then stood over me while I boiled the chocolate down on the stove-top, praying that I didn’t set the kitchen on fire.
So, I mean… bottom-line. Can you blame my parents for not wanting to tell this kid that Santa didn’t really exist?
How did it happen then? How did I come to discover that a jolly-cheeked man did not sneak down the chimney (Or the front door as our house did not have a fireplace, so I made sure to check that it was unlocked for him.), eat cookies, and leave me presents?
I polled my entire 5th grade class.
Oh yes. That is correct. I went to absolutely every single student in my 5th grade class and asked, “Do YOU believe in Santa?” I was the sole survivor amongst the group. Not only did my playmates have a good laugh at my expense, but they also put forth some pretty damaging evidence that Santa was not real. Like, THEIR PARENTS HAD TOLD THEM THAT SANTA WAS NOT REAL. This put a major hole in my case.
That night, I sat my mom down on the couch and said, “Mom. Really. Tell me. Is Santa real?” I was so sure of the fact that Santa existed, that I thought she would soothe all my doubts and I would be free to continue on with my evening of gift-wrapping and merry-making. I think that my choice craft of that particular holiday season was creating my own snowflake garlands.
Imagine my surprise when she replied, “No, honey. I’m sorry. He’s not.”
Years later, I would find out that my mother had been working up the courage to tell me and she knew that once I approached her, she couldn’t keep up the farce any longer.
I would like to say that I took this news on the chin and stepped into impending adulthood with maturity and grace.
Instead I burst into hysterical tears and yelled, “YOU LIED TO ME! WHY DID YOU LIE TO ME?!” over and over, emotionally scarring my mother for all eternity.
Needless to say, she waited a few hours before she checked in to make sure that I now understood the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy were make-believe as well.