Who gave you permission to tell Charlie there was no Santa Claus? I think if we’re going to destroy our son’s delusions, I should be a part of it.Tim Allen as Scott Calvin in The Santa Claus (1994)
Mission Impossible: Santa Claus
This week, I’d like to take you back in time. Specifically, the 1990s. I was in elementary school. It was Christmas Eve, and my brother and I were finally going to complete our own version of Mission Impossible. The Christmas version. In our best handwriting (mine), we had written a very long letter to Santa explaining that we required his signature in order to prove he was real. We even drew a little signature line at the bottom of the page and drew multiple arrows and exclamation points to draw Santa’s attention there.
Excitedly, we intentionally placed the letter on top of the warm cookies, so there was no excuse for Santa to miss it. At last, the cold milk was poured into the glass, and we gleefully ran upstairs to await the results.
Finally, after not sleeping a wink and exclaiming that we were SURE we heard jingle bells and reindeer hooves on the roof, we “awoke” on Christmas morning.
As an aside, for a longer time than we’d probably like to admit my older sister, myself, and my brother all slept in the same room on Christmas Eve, read Garfield comic strips, and swore we heard Santa’s sleigh on the rooftop all night long. Basically, it was great.
Now, back to this particular Christmas morning!
First, we woke up at our typical Christmas morning hour (5:00 or 6:00 AM) and crept out of our room and down the stairs. As we creaked across the hallway to the Christmas tree, we saw our gifts all laid out like a department store window display.
Then over we ran to the cookies and milk, to see if our document had been signed by Mr. Claus himself…and…it WAS! Oh, the joy! We were going to be famous! We’d done it! It must have been the quality of the cookies, and the fact that we also left crunchy carrots out for the reindeer. This was going to be an epic Christmas for years to come. We had SANTA CLAUS’S signature!
Bringing Together Enemies, One Santa Plot At a Time
I don’t know what happened to that piece of paper with “Santa’s” signature. Obviously, we didn’t become famous for our work that night, but we did make a pretty fun memory, and it brought my brother and me together during what was probably a pretty tumultuous time in our relationship. If my memories of slap fights in the backseat of the car are any indication, we didn’t have a ton in common at the time.
It’s funny how the holidays can do that, though. Bring enemies together, for a momentary truce. Especially when there are gifts involved. And an elusive signature to be obtained. Often, I try to remember what the gifts were that Christmas. Funny, I can’t seem to remember the gifts. Actually, I do remember two gifts – our “big” gifts. My brother and I each received our very own car. Not a real car, mind you. We were only little kids, so these were ELECTRIC cars. Mine was a flashy red corvette, his was a Jeep type thing, I think. See, I can’t even remember which kind of car he got!
The Real Gift: Memories Made
So I can’t ever remember gifts, but I DO remember all the nights spent awake when we were supposed to be asleep. All sleeping in the same room, excited about what was to come, the presents, the breakfast together, and playing with the new toys we were sure to receive. Especially the time spent awake.
I remember giggling, whispering about what we hoped to see as we snuck downstairs the next morning in the chilly air. These were the real gifts of my Christmases growing up. Not the actual objects, but the moments they facilitated. Just by making Christmas such a momentous occasion, we were led to treat each other with joy, kindness, and to come together and accomplish great things. Like getting a certain someone’s signature to prove he was real.
As we enter this holiday season of giving, I was inspired to create a “Holiday Handbook” to explore the meaning of this time of year.
Some questions I plan to answer:
- Why do we give gifts for the holidays?
- What are some easy gift ideas for friends, family, and everyone in between?
- Where did gift wrapping start, and why is it so darn challenging sometimes?
- And most importantly, what happened to that Santa signature?!
Join me each week as I share stories, holiday trivia, and practical gift ideas for an easy and joyful holiday season!
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And this week’s Simple Gift is…
My morning walks. Sometimes, something as simple as taking a quick half hour walk can be all I need to start the day right! I love to get some fresh air, feel the chilly breeze, and get a little sunshine on my face. I wave to my neighbors from a safe social distance, and generally feel brighter and lighter when I get back home. So my advice for you today would be to get out there and take a quick stroll around the block when you have a moment! It’s free, fast, and easy! What more could you ask for these days?
Have a wonderful week!