I never wanted my children to believe in Santa Claus, but now that my oldest is on the verge of disbelief I want to hang onto the jolly old elf at all costs. What changed? When we found out my wife was pregnant we had a sit down talk. You know, the kind of deep … Continue reading The Truth About Santa
It’s odd how Christmas changes after you have children of your own.
When you’re young it’s about your family and its traditions, those traditions predicated by your parents and continued in the face of waning enthusiasm by you and your siblings — you know, when the magic wears off. Then you’re a teenager and a young adult and you’re trying to figure your own life out, much less the life of a fictitious character from the North Pole who may or may not be living on the tip of an iceberg. During that time you wear the costumes ironically and give things like cameras to your friends just because.
Then you grow up all the way, and you get married, or at least have a significant other. Valentine’s Day takes on more significance, but Christmas begins making a comeback too. You buy and make sentimental gifts for each other and that makes it all less ironic somehow. By the time kids come along you’ve gotten into a pattern that for all intents and purposes works for you. You buy each other $100 worth of presents each year and wonder why your credit cards always seem to be maxed out come January, but you’re happy.
Then the first kid comes and you realize you’ve been doing it wrong for years. Christmas is, after all, a holiday for children first and foremost, and you come full circle when you have some of your own. That’s when you begin to create your own family traditions that will at some point become the ones your kids will eventually mock ironically as young adults. Or maybe they’ll appreciate them so much that they pass them on to their own children.
It’s what we hope, of course, that having those children of your own will bring back the magic for you, that magic that has taken years to disappear and that only seems to emerge somewhere near Disney World. But it’s not a mouse that brings back the real magic. It’s instead a burly man from up north who may or may not be a distant cousin to Jesus Christ. Time to leave out those cookies and that milk. Continue reading “Christmas Memories: 2006”
When I was 16, I went to work for the Philadelphia Vision Center. My primary job was going throughout the neighborhood, putting flyers on people’s porches, in their screen doors, in their mailboxes (against the law), and in their hands. For this service, I was paid $5 an hour under the table, a rather handsome … Continue reading The Year I Was Santa