My kids live in the wheelhouse for Santa Claus. They’re 6 and 4 and genuinely believe that Santa and his elves are working fastidiously to bring them all the items on their lengthy wish list.
At the top of my oldest’s wish list this year is a laptop, which Santa will NEVER bring him. The kid has a tablet and a touchscreen PC at our house. Who does he think he is — a character on “Silicon Valley?” I’ll have no problem getting him a laptop when he starts making apps that we can sell to pay for his college.
Ranking right under that fantasy laptop gift are 3 video games, of which I’ve heard of exactly none. So, those are not going to be under the tree. My kids, like most, receive more screen time in a day than they should. The last thing we need is another video enticement.
So, what does that leave? Thankfully, he likes Lego’s and dinosaurs and superheroes. Our youngest’s list is similar, because he wants whatever his older brother wants. I fear that will be a lifelong desire for him.
I’m so grateful that we’re still in the Santa zone. Not only does it add pure joy and magic to the holiday season, but it’s also an extremely effective hammer for my wife and I when we’re trying to discipline them. The words, “Should I tell Santa?” strike fear into their very hearts. And believe me, with their behavior sometimes, that is a very useful tool.
The belief of Santa informs so much of what we do in the holiday season — getting pictures with the old man, watching The Polar Express and other holiday classics and seeing Santa drive by our house on a fire truck on Christmas Eve. Not believing in him would leave a gap in our family fun.
I always loved Christmas but having kids cranks up the excitement to 11, or even 12. I know that it won’t always be this way, so I’m soaking up every moment. My oldest has begun asking difficult questions — How does Santa get into our house if we don’t have a chimney? Does Santa know our alarm passcode? How does he get to all those houses in one night? So far, we’ve deftly avoided his questions but we won’t be able to hold him off forever. Plus, we have limited hiding places in our house so he’s bound to bump into an unopened Lego box or a bag of stocking gifts at some point.
But until then, it’s unlimited readings of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” preparing milk and cookies for the jolly elf and watching our kids’ eyes light up when the see the man in the red suit. It’s magic that comes once a year and that makes my heart beat faster.