With the holidays swirling about all around, I knew this would be one of the toughest years to handle. Emotions just wash over you. This morning was one of those instances. Yet another time I wish I could pick up the phone and call Mom just to thank her for all she did. Course I’m not sure I actually could make it through the conversation without tears, even if she was here.
Conversation last night helped me appreciate the luxuries of growing up with two parents who actually cared. Trying to get more in the holiday spirit I spoke with a friend about Santa. Santa arrived in the night on Christmas Eve without fail for every year of my childhood & even a few of my adult ones. Santa had a rule, “When you stop believing you stop receiving.” In the conversation it hit me that some kids got skipped. To those kids who grew up in foster care, many times Santa skipped over their house ever year. To them it became a holiday of strangers giving hugs and random gifts. For some reason this brings tears to my eyes even this morning. Wish I could go back and give every kid the gift of that feeling Christmas Eve of wondering in excitement if you might get a glimpse of him, hear the jingling of bells and hope that the cookies hit the spot. I truly can’t really even grasp what it would be not having those memories.
The magic of Santa lives on in me. Perhaps the view of what he is has changed from the literal interpretation to one of a manifestation of hope, joy and the beauty of wishes coming true.
Some how I envisioned it was this way for all children. In a perfect world, it is. Each year since my senior year of high school I have participated in the annual tradition of collecting toys to be donated to others. I know loads of people who do the same. For some reason, my hope was that all the children get toys and the joy of Santa is spread to all.
Well of course some I knew had chose not to believe for religious reasons, but to me Santa isn’t part of a religion but a culture of caring. I understood as a kid that some kids had nativities and waited to open gifts on Christmas day while others lit candles and opened gifts for 8 nights. I didn’t get that the differences went beyond the when the gifts were exchanged or the decorations. For me Christmas was & in many ways a holiday that all celebrated together of joy, kindness, getting together, expressions of love and caring & magic. The magic of taking a month to just be happy and make wishes come true. The fact that the observance of the birth of christ and all that happened at the same time at church to me was just a coincidence. So as I questioned my faith growing up, losing the holiday with the family didn’t change.
Of all the memories growing up, Santa is by far one of my most treasured. Interesting that the first year without Mom finds me reflecting and realizing how extremely blessed I have been…. because of all they did to always keep the magic and traditional alive. Feels a bit like I have opened a gift a little early. One I wish I could share with the world.