The Holiday Charade

As we come upon Easter, I have to think about plastic eggs & egg hunts, little gifts for the kids, and some candy that won’t make my kids TOO wired or choke (ha, does that even exist?)  And I have to talk about how the Easter bunny won’t come if my kids aren’t acting appropriately.  I.E. not being little shits.  I start to think back to how long my parents put on the “charade” for me about the characters to magically appeared in the night to provide goodies to me and my sisters.  The tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, Santa.  When did I tell my parents to finally give it up?

I can remember one Christmas when I was about 10 or 11, I wasn’t feeling well.  With an upset stomach, I went wandering to try to find my parents.  I knew that coming downstairs before the morning was against the “law” in our house, so I crept down quietly, all the while, calling for my parents, hoping they’d hear me.  As I rounded the corner to the kitchen, I saw it: my grandfather and my mom wrapping gifts at the counter, talking loudly.  Before I could sneak away, my mom saw me, and the stricken look on my face, and hurried me out of the room and upstairs to find some Pepto.  She put me to bed, finally saying, “Santa dropped off the gifts early, and didn’t have time to wrap.  So Grandpa and I offered to help.”  She didn’t look at me, but closed my door and went back down to finish her “job”.  It was enough for then, and we didn’t speak about it in the morning, when my sisters and I came down to open our gifts.  But did my mom really feel like she HAD to do that?  I mean, I was 10.  Maybe she thought the magic of it all would fade if she stopped playing along with the spirit of the season.

Recently, I was in a school with some middle schoolers during the holidays.  I overheard a few talking about what they wanted for Christmas.  “Yeah, I want my mom to get me the new game, too.”  An innocent looking kid looked to the two boys talking and said, “You mean Santa, right?”  The other two boys looked at each other and then looked back to this boy, this child who didn’t know any better that Santa was just in his dreams.  The teacher swooped in, just in time, and said, “well sure, we all believe in Santa.  I do every year!”  The boys all giggled nervously, but the moment was over.

I was talking to my eldest this morning about how they had to be good at school because they wanted the Easter bunny to bring treats, right?  How long can I hold that over my kids’ heads?  When do I give up the charade?  I don’t know if my mom did until I was moved out.  Honest.  Maybe it was the spirit or the way my mom’s eyes always twinkled when talking about the holidays (whichever one it might be), but I am so glad she put up the charade for me for as long as she did.  I don’t think I would’ve believed in the magic of the holidays without her hyping everything up for me.  When will I give it up?  I suppose never.  In the world we live in today, we have to have a little magic every now and again, right?  Even if it means creepy characters coming into our house late at night to lay eggs and eat lots of cookies.

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