It’s early December, and I’m tired just thinking about all that we have to do for Christmas. I love the Christmas season – the magic, the music, the cheer – but as a mom of three-year-old twins and a one-year-old baby, it’s up to me to make most of that cheerful magic happen. Christmas means giving even more of myself to my family than I already do every day and managing three kids hopped up on the Christmas spirit can make it hard to find my own.
Right now though, for a moment at least, the house is quiet. The children are napping. I’d love to nap too, but I know that if I close my eyes, to-do lists, not sugar plums, will dance in my head. So, ignoring the siren song of the sofa, I haul the big totes of Christmas decorations up from the basement. Somewhere buried among the snow globes and garlands is my Christmas spirit. It’s time to dig it out.
I make some coffee and start adding a little Christmas to every surface that I can. A music box here, a trio of snowmen there. I hang our stockings from the mantle and stand back to admire them. I love that this house has a real fireplace so that my children can picture Santa, right here in our living room, filling up stockings and then whooshing back up the chimney.
I have some concerns, though, about the whole Santa Claus thing. I want my children to believe in magic. However, it feels weird to meet their questioning eyes and say that yes, on Christmas Eve, a stranger from the North Pole will break into our home, and the homes of other children around the entire globe, to deliver a spectacular gift just for you.
My other concern is a much more selfish one. I don’t like that Santa gets all the credit for the wonder of Christmas morning. Mommy and Daddy are the ones who stay up until the wee hours to make Christmas special, but the kids think Santa does it all? It just doesn’t seem fair.
Children are wise in ways that we don’t always realize and that they don’t even understand.
I finish up with my decorations, and I’m excited to show the twins. I have to wonder, though: will they even notice or care? Three-year-olds can be so unpredictable.
I hear the girls thump sleepily down the stairs. I meet them at the baby gate and lean down to whisper as they peer over its edge, “Go around to each room and see if you notice anything different, any surprises.”
“Okay!” They cheerfully agree. Suddenly alert and wide awake, they burst through the gate like Black Friday shoppers released into Best Buy at midnight.
“Look! A snowman! Ooh! And another one!”
“What are those? Is that snow inside of those things?!?”
They run from room to room, squealing with delight.
Then the two of them stop, side by side, awestruck faces tipped up toward the mantle where I’d hung the stockings and arranged some garland.
“Mommy,” a little voice says, full of wonder, “Did you make all this Christmas for us?”
“Well yeah, I guess I did,” I say, completely surprised by a tight feeling in my throat. “I made it while you were sleeping.”
I kneel down on the floor, and they lean into me. One of them puts her face close to mine, holding me with her earnest gaze, and says, “When Santa comes, he’s going to love all this Christmas that you made.”
I kiss their messy heads, breathe in their sleepy scent, and just like that, my children have given me back my Christmas spirit. They may believe in Santa, and their heads may be filled with elves and flying reindeer, but in their hearts, they know that Mommy makes Christmas.
Take that, Santa.
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ABOUT KATE: Kate Parlin is a writer and mom of three girls, two of whom are twins. She chronicles her parenting adventures — the funny stuff, the frustrating freak-outs, and the soul-searching moments — at her blog, Shakespeare’s Mom. Her writing has been featured in numerous places online including The Huffington Post, In the Powder Room, Redbook, and Scary Mommy. Her essay, “Making Space” was featured in the December 2014 print issue of Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine, she was a cast member of the 2015 production of Listen To Your Mother in Bangor, Maine, and she is thrilled to have her work featured in several parenting anthologies. She lives in Maine with her super-cool husband and their gaggle of girls.
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Take That, Santa was written by Kate Parlin exclusively for BonBon Break Media LLC.
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