Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Christmas remembered

Short tree - short story.

I want to start a Christmas tradition here on my blog.  I'm re-posting a family Christmas story.

In keeping with the tradition of Santa coercion to extract good child behavior we kept the legend alive for our kids. Is a legend a lie? Do you think magic tricks are unjust? 

Santa’s story with sleigh, flying reindeer, slave elves (we never called them slave elves but I never heard of them being paid or unionized) and bags of goodies is an ongoing magic trick. 

One snowy Christmas eve (honestly I believe it was snowing but I do know it reads better) - as I was saying;

Then one snowy Christmas eve, our sweet daughter came to say: 
“Daddy with your eyes so bright, I’m staying up to see Santa tonight.” 
“Oh no dear Virginia you must go to sleep because Santa only comes when kids are sleeping,” I recited from my Santa legend training. 

She was the youngest after all and we expected at least another year of Santa coercion. 
“Well then I will sleep by the tree with the dog.”
(don't know about you but I don't recall the use of a guard dog being covered during Santa training)
While proud of her logical problem solving skill display, I was fearful the legend might be unraveling too soon. As she proceeded to get the dog’s leash and her sleeping bag, I prepared the cookies and milk gambit. This time we would add a short note to Santa who would provide the convincing thank-you reply.

Her note to him explained how the dog would let her know he arrived. Don’t worry Santa, he won’t bite you. She just wanted Santa to prove himself. It was a stake out, a test of will power, a test of faith. 

Santa showdown time 

When all is said and done, her Christmas excitement, us weary parents, the confused dog and a strong desire to seek the truth overpowered me. I threw in the Santa towel. The familiar Santa handwriting in past thank-you notes, the common gift wrap, lack of chimney (one of the dumbest parts of the legend), all came together and her logic left her coming up short on Santa. 

I confessed. 

She cried.

Oh did she cry. You would have thought she had discovered I was Hitler or maybe Rod Blagojevich (disregard this second reference if you don't know Illinois politics). Now she couldn’t sleep.  She had become too emotionally upset. 

She demanded we tell her how we could lie about Santa in between sobs. She was less upset when her hamster had died been murdered (that’s a story for another time). 

The legend of Santa will live on as long as children misbehave and corporations seek free advertising endorsements. Deal with it kids. 

Quick update - today now with grandkids, the legend has expanded to include the elf-on-the-shelf.  We get to deal with an elf spy but without the cool gadgets the spies I grew up with had.


Bearman Cartoons said...

Surprised someone hasn't created a nanny cam in the elf on a shelf

lisleman said...

Not a bad idea except now you would need to pay the elf shelf geniuses a royalty. The spying idea is a little creepy.

Lisa said...

You confessed? The Santa legend training didn't provide a gluey chewing gum or something ?

This is a nice tradition for the blog.

jnoragon said...

As we had no chimney Santa landed in the front yard and used the door, which was unlocked when the girls went to bed. He lasted at our house until my youngest was maybe nine. My eight year old granddaughter still believes and is so prepared this year.......

lisleman said...

I'm glad you like the tradition idea. Yes I broke down and confessed because she had put all the evidence together that Santa just didn't make sense. I had to come clean. No chewing gum would have kept my mouth shut at that point. That is a strange interesting idea. Are you big on chewing gum?

lisleman said...

I wish you luck with the eight year old staying a believer for a few more seasons. Did you know there is service now that will create a cool video message from Santa to your child? One of my grandsons just got one and I watched it too. Well done video clip. Thanks for sharing the Santa status.

Kathy said...

Sorry but I had to laugh I will never forget the day my daughter found out and how we were accused of being big fat liars....we also told her about the Easter bunny and tooth fairy too! She still talks about it at 18 how shocking it was...can't wait until she has kids some day and the trail of lies begin!

Cheryl P. said...

That is hysterical!! Not the part where you stomped on your sweet daughter's idyllic Christmas fantasies.....But the rest of it is really funny. I howled at the Blago reference. I will try to be patient in waiting for the story of the hamster's murder.

While it is true that I flunked the Santa training program, I could of let my kids sleep under the tree. I could of then decorated around them, used them for step stools and picked them up to brush of the glitter. They used to sleep like they were in comas. I got lucky and the kids at school filled them in on the Santa issue. By the time they got home they were semi over it.

lisleman said...

I sure hope the tradition continues for your future grandkids. I was never big on the Easter bunny, at least not that I remember. If you want to call it a lie then I think it should be considered a good lie.

lisleman said...

Deep sleepers - probably better than the opposite - a light sleeper. I like your wording. I don't use the word "stomped" enough. You know I have not written the case of the murdered hamster yet. I should. You never know if you have a PETA leaning reader out there to offend.

Lisa said...

She had an engineer's mind like her Dad.

unknownmami said...

I can't believe you murdered Santa on Christmas eve.

CaliforniaGirl500 said...

The elf. Yes. A darling little girl of five ran into my house on her bicycle one day. Luckily no long-term damage. Or was there?

She and her little brother were my boys best friends in San Diego. When we moved, all four were heartbroken.

Today she is the mother of two little girls of her own and she concocted JoJo the Elf. She takes endless photos of JoJo surprises, e.g. he put miniature lights on the dollhouse, he set up an electric train around the Christmas tree, etc. I did not get the JoJo photos, comments, presents and stuff for a while. This is all posted on her Facebook site btw. I just thought she'd gone overboard about Christmas. I learned about the elfin spies the other day and it finally came together.

Her intentions are good but it's a strange concept to me. Now that I understand, I'm hearing some people are stressing have to move the damn thing every night.

Glad they didn't have that when my kids were little.

Signed, Mrs. Grinch

lisleman said...

what?? I didn't murder Santa. There was a hamster murdered once but nothing to do with Christmas. Regarding this truth revealing of the Santa legend, it would not of happened on Christmas eve if I saw it coming. My wife and I were not expecting the dog to become involved.

lisleman said...

Yes you must move it every night. I'm not sure why you would not be able to convince you little ones that the elf just likes the same spot in the house. Is this JoJo (that would be pronounced Ho Ho in Spanish?) the same as the elf-on-the-shelf?
thanks for sharing your story.

Jene said...

That's a pretty awesome story. That poor girl. I remember trying to pull the same stunt when I was a kid, but somehow my parents managed to get the presents under the tree, anyway. They had to be more deliberate about it, since I was the oldest and there were still two kids left who were staunch believers.

The real giveaway was the year that "Santa" spelled Donner's name wrong when he left a note about the reindeer. You couldn't pull the wool over my eyes after that.

Jene said...

We don't have an elf, either. Sometimes I feel a little bit bad that we don't have that tradition, but the whole idea of elf spies and having your kid only behaving because of the elf just doesn't sit well with me. Besides, who has time to deal with that every night?! I can barely get lunches made, let alone set up creative elf scenes.

lisleman said...

Caught by a misspelling - not that's funny. thanks for sharing

Tami said...

I remember my mother and Nanny telling me Santa wasn't real and how devastated I was. I was sworn to secrecy and was not to tell my sisters.

I do not see how children are not traumatized with the Elf on the Shelf. I find him to be a bit creepy looking.

lisleman said...

So they decided you were "of age" to know. I'm guessing that revealing the secret that way they could make sure you didn't tell your siblings.
I don't think the elf is that creepy looking but his story makes it sound like he is a narc. thanks

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