Tuesday, 2 December 2014

I believe in Santa

I believe in Santa.

Well, I did as a child, until I busted my grandmother being the tooth fairy when I was about 6 or 7 and the whole fantasy-land part of my childhood died in seconds.  No Easter Bunny.  No fairies.  No Santa.  It was sad because it was the end of a really special part of my childhood, where magic was not just possible, but REAL - where I'd stare up in the sky on Christmas Eve just willing myself to see Santa's sleigh; where I could barely get to sleep the nights I lost a tooth because a REAL toothfairy was going to visit my room that night to take my tooth away and leave me 20 cents (it was the 80s and I was cheap to please).  I think once I even made a little 'bathroom' out of my doll's house furniture for the toothfairy in case she needed to use the toilet, wash her face or have a drink of water on her rounds!  I was a sweetie.
My mum did a wonderful job of nurturing and growing this fantasy land part of my childhood.  She wrote a letter from the toothfairy for every tooth I lost (until I busted grandma), sprinkled in some glitter and came up with beautifully magical names, like Moonbeam and Twinkle Toes (well, they were beautiful and magical to me at the time!)  She diligently ate half the raw carrot we put out every Easter for the Easter bunny.  She drank the milk and biscuits left out for Santa (an easier task than raw carrot) and even let me collect lawn clippings to leave for the reindeer and sprinkled them down the hallway and out the front door to make it look like the reindeer had to eat it on the run.  I cringe at the mess she made, all to make my Christmas morning that year more... magical.  I think my oldest sister and brother even got in on the action one year and rolled their bikes back and forth on the front yard to make sleigh tracks in our dead, brown and crunchy North Queensland drought-affected lawn.
My childhood rocked in that regard.
So let me tell you why I will be working my butt off over the coming several years to make sure my darling daughter and her little brother/sister have that same magical wonder I enjoyed, thanks to my mum and despite the scoffing of my dad (and no doubt others).
That age of magical wonder and innocence is so freakin' short!  Poof - gone!  All too soon, my babies will be grown up and slowly understand the realities of life and being a human in this world.  They will know that bad things happen all too often, and to good people.  They will know that people can be mean.  They will learn about poverty and homelessness.  They will know they will be expected to work hard at school, only to leave school and work hard in some area to make a living and pay a never-ending slew of bills.  They will have their heart broken.  They will make friends and lose friends.  And yes, they will fall wonderfully in love.  They will see real miracles happen, and how kind and wonderful people can be.  As well as the ugly in the world, they will see the beautiful, too, I know.  BUT, that magical wonder - the magic and fantasy and innocence and excitement and wonder of childhood - only lasts a few precious years.  I want my children to have that.
Hearing a five-year-old tell my two-year-old, "Santa's not real!  It's just mum and dad!" makes me sad.  So while you may teach your child/ren that Santa isn't real and Christmas is just about presents and food and being with family (and the fact that the whole reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ - that's a whole other blog), please also tell them to keep their mouths shut when they're playing with other children.  You might not want to "lie to them and deceive them", but I bloody well am and will continue to, to foster my childrens' wonder and imagination and excitement and magical view of life and the world for as long as I can.
The world needs more magic and wonder.  Not less.

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