Keeping the Magic of Christmas

My eight year still believes in Santa Claus. In fact, I’m confident in saying that he also believes in the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. If I had any doubt earlier this year as we started decorating for Christmas if he still believed, it was quickly squashed this morning at the breakfast table.

Yesterday, my daughter knocked our Elf, Snowball, from his watchful place on a rogue decoration still hanging up from her birthday party in October. The paper globe hung in the arched doorway leading upstairs, and two nights ago, my husband moved Snowball to hang off of the decoration. If you’ve got the visual (or the song) of Wrecking Ball going through your mind, you’re spot on in how Snowball was hanging off the paper lantern.

According to my friend who was watching the kids, chaos ensued. Charlotte was traumatized, Greyson started crying, and Theo stood there stunned all watching this lifeless Elf fall quite ungracefully to the floor. And, this is why:

My children, including my eight year old, still believe in the Magic of Christmas. It’s that simple.

Yes, we have an Elf. Yes, he joins us shortly after Thanksgiving. No, we don’t dress him up, arrange him in elaborate displays at midnight (looking at you, those with a Pinterest board devoted to Elf Shenanigans). No, the children are not allowed to touch him once he’s joined our family until Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve, the kids can play with Snowball all day long, because they understand that Santa picks Snowball up when he delivers their Santa Present on Christmas Eve night. Santa scoops him up, places him carefully in a bag with other Elves who have been picked up on our street and all over the WORLD and then he hangs out at the North Pole until Santa decides when he needs to arrive to our home again next year. Wait. What did I just read?

You read correctly. Together with my husband, we create the Magic of Christmas. Our budget is not extensive, our time is quite limited, and my patience is usually over by 7 p.m. every single day. And still, I’m proud of the fact that at 8 years and 4 months old my oldest son still believes in Santa Claus. Want to know the secret?

We have been authentic each and every year what Christmas is all about. First and foremost, it is in celebration of Jesus’ birth. We give gifts to others to celebrate Jesus’ life. My oldest son was 3 before he met Santa Claus for the first time. We’ve been fortunate to be able to go on the Polar Express for the past several years, and take part in that magical part of Christmas while the kids get to talk to Santa while on the trip. Each year I hold my breath, waiting for my children who are now reading to read the familiar signs to prove that we otherwise are not physically at the North Pole. Fingers crossed for this year too!

It’s hard to keep the magic and the “secret” of Santa alive. But this morning, when I sat across the table from Greyson, he had legit big kid tears streaming down his cheeks. He was concerned that Snowball was permanently damaged; that his magic was gone because Charlotte had touched him making his magic go away. So, I don’t need to question whether or not he believes. What I have to do, no-what I need to do is to keep the magic alive for him this year.

Tomorrow marks nineteen years that my grandparents have been gone. Maybe I’m nostalgic thinking of all that has happened in nineteen years, and that I wish they had been a physical part of. I know that they would love these children to pieces if they were still here and in good health.

So, to all of you who are questioning if you tell your child the truth, or if you’re looking for ways to make Christmas more Magical this year-keep it authentic. This season will be over before we know it, and so will the chances that next year at this time will Greyson will still believe. And, when we get to that point with him and his siblings, we’ll figure out how to tell the truth of the story behind Santa Claus. But, the thing is: Christmas is still magical. Embrace it while you can.

Now to figure out what to do with our Elf.

Beth

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