“I’ve learned that there are four ages of a man:
1. When he believes in Santa Claus
2. When he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus
3. When he is Santa Claus
4. When he looks like Santa Claus”
I think that I am in the transition phase once again; moving from being Mrs. Claus to looking like Mrs. Claus (though my hairdresser is the only one that really knows how closely I resemble her).
And in my new stage of Santa-ness, I have a hugely different perspective on what Christmas is about than I did as a believing-in-Santa child.
This year the biggest gift my family is getting, I believe, is already here. My daughter just had the first baby of the next generation. And, as we see my father decline toward the end of his life, it has been such a blessing to have this new life to create some balance: the joy and the sadness.
I don’t remember when I moved from believing-in-Santa to not-believing-in-Santa, so it must not have been traumatic for me. It was probably my older brother trying to stir things up a little. This is the brother who used to get all the neighborhood kids to do his bidding by threatening that they could not go up on his roof if they didn’t comply. I know, what was that about? But it worked. (Emotional Blackmail?)
I don’t think it was my younger sister as I’m pretty sure that we likely found out about the Santa thing at the same time. We shared a room growing up so I’m sure that we shared that information. And my sister, being a practical thinker, was probably not bothered by this discovery either.
I know there are some that don’t permit the Santa myth to exist in their households and, to each, his own. But what a magical thing it is!
I remember coming home from church in the car on Christmas Eve, during the believe-in-Santa stage, and arguing with my siblings about who could see Santa and his reindeer up in the night sky. Talk about building anticipation!
When we were in the being-Santa-stage, I recall my husband going outside one year and throwing carrots on the roof which became proof to our children that Rudolph had been there. And you always had to leave a few cookie crumbs as well!
Whatever stage of Santa that you’re in right now, or whatever holiday you may celebrate this time of year, I hope that you have: moments of the wonder that defines the believe-in-Santa stage; times when you enjoy the ‘belief’ in others even though you no longer believe; a chance to be that Santa to somebody else, young or old, and spread a little joy; or enjoy, or at least accept, the gray hair and round bellies that sometimes come with reaching the look-like-Santa stage.
For me, I will look forward to my grand-daughters believing-in-Santa stage, hope not to be the Grandma that got run over by a reindeer, and be glad to have had one more holiday season with my looks-like-Santa parents.
Ho Ho Ho!
On the journey with you…….Kathy
Kathy Eynon is an Eldercare Coach and Consultant that works with those struggling to cope with the demands of caring for an aging parent. She can be reached by email at: Kathy@ParentCareAlliance.com or visit her website at www.ParentCareAlliance.com.
(Quote: Age 51- The Complete Live and Learn and Pass It On, by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.)