If you have read any of my past blogs you know I will often write about an upcoming holiday. This being December, I am writing about Christmas and the power of still believing in Santa Claus and almost throwing away the same.
Some of us can look back at our childhood and remember a time when we believed in Santa Claus and the magic of the whole holiday. Some of us don’t remember anything about Christmas other than the hectic, stressful, commercial event it becomes as an adult. I am sure some of us faintly remember the excitement we had as we went to bed on Christmas Eve, trying to stay up to see Santa Claus but only to fall asleep and wake up the next morning with all the presents under the tree. For me, it is a feeling that I faintly recall, but had never felt again with any aspect of life. Sure we all have other events that have impacted our emotions on a different level, good and bad. However, nothing has matched that young, innocent belief that I need to be good or Santa will not leave me any toys or gifts. That emotion and feeling I had as a child has never been matched. The memories I have as child believing in the magic of Santa Claus are faint. I have no evidence of that belief. I have no writings or videos of my belief, but I wish I did. As a lawyer, I need to have evidence to support a belief.
That is why after my children wrote their letters to Santa this year I did something crazy to help preserve “evidence” of my children’s memories of the magic of Santa Claus and Christmas. As we have every year, we wrote Santa telling him what they wanted for Christmas, we put the letters into an envelope addressed to Santa and I told the boys I would mail the letters. As I have done every year, I threw the letters away after I put the list into my phone for future reference as I went shopping. Throwing the letters away was not crazy in itself because one needs to destroy any evidence that would dislodge your child’s believe of Santa Claus. Could you imagine the horror a child would have if they found their letter to Santa Claus in their parent’s desk draw. Imagine the fear that would go thru the child’s head that they would not receive any of the gifts they asked for because Santa Claus didn’t get their letter. Imagine the questions they would have once they begin to think about why mommy or daddy still has the list. Imagine the shame you as a parent would feel if you learned that something you did (leaving the letter to Santa Claus to be found) led your child to stop believing in the magic of Santa Claus and Christmas. No, what I did that was crazy was I went into my garbage to find the letters that my sons had written, but I had thrown away.
I was knee deep in garbage bags that existed from the prior two weeks of garbage, trying to find the bag that had the letters, and then find the letters themselves. One could say it was demented for me to wade thru the discarded food, paper towels and other unpleasant waste to find the two letters. However, after throwing them away, I realized that this may be the last time my boys, who are 9 and 11, believe in the magic of Santa Claus and Christmas. I wanted them to have some evidence of that belief, so it is not just a faint memory but there is a tangible exhibit of the same. As I picked thru the rotten salad and half eaten chicken wings, I begin to realize the magic of Christmas still exists in me. A desire to have that memory preserved for my boys lifetime exceeded the distain I felt after I began the removal of various pieces of refuse. However, after ten minutes of being unable to find the letters I begin to reconsider my decision to look for the letters. I have to admit after twenty minutes of sifting through the rubbish I was about to give up. At 30 minutes I was torn between trying to find what I perceived to possibly be the last piece of tangible proof of my children’s’ belief in Santa Claus and the stench that existed from the garbage that was becoming part of my own aroma. However, after having resigned to the fact that I was not going to find the letters unless I went through the trash piece by piece and just as I was calling it quits, I noticed a corner of paper that resemble the paper the letters were written on. The corner was no bigger than a quarter. The corner was in fact one of the letters. I quickly found the other letter next to it as well.
Some people who see Christmas as a hectic, stressful, commercial event will say it was just plain luck that I found the letters and that I should have stopped after ten minutes or not even try to find the letters. Others will say that it was a matter of a father’s devotion to his kids that allowed me to find the letters. I like to think it was the magic of Santa Claus and Christmas that helped me to find the letters, and to think I almost threw that away.