Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I have VIVID memories of Christmases past.

I remember driving the long drive (515 miles one way) from Mission to Dallas and Kaufman to see our grandparents. Peggy and I would plan weeks in advance what we were going to take to occupy us on the long drive .
(When we were younger Mother would have a sack of fun stuff that every hour or so she would put her hand in and pick out something... like a little note pad, or a little toy.)

And I remember going to sleep on the floor in Grandmother Ora’s living room on Christmas Eve and so not wanting to fall asleep. All I wanted was just a glimpse of Santa coming through the front door. I never got that glimpse... but he always came.

Then I remember that one Christmas our family decided to stay in Mission. Peggy and I were beside ourselves with worry that Santa wouldn’t know we had stayed home. Did he even know where we lived? How could he? (And we'd worked at being so good.) (Ah, but he found us.)

Then I remember - about a year and a half later - drying the dishes in the kitchen (I remember the exact spot where I was standing) and I asked Mother something like “Is Santa Claus real?”
And she told me.

Jeez. In a moment childhood was over.

Ah, but I loved believing ... and having those memories of believing.

What about you....
Did you believe in Santa?
If you did how did you find out the truth? (Or did you?)
Do you think it’s good or bad to let children believe in Santa?

If you don’t mind, please leave a comment answering one or all of those questions.
(No pressure.)


(My apologies to my kids for assuming they knew the truth - when, it turned out, they didn’t.)
(Parents: don’t assume anything.)


Elizabeth H. said...

Did you believe in Santa?

If you did how did you find out the truth? (Or did you?)
I noticed that Santa's handwriting always matched my dad's handwriting... until he married my mom (Robin) and then Santa's handwriting was the same as hers!

Do you think it’s good or bad to let children believe in Santa?
I think its all in good fun! You can DEFINITELY emphasize the true meaning of CHRISTmas while still enjoying the traditions of Santa.

Deanna said...

Oh, I definitely remember believing in Santa. We lived in the country, no fireplace so of course no chimney, and it always worried me how he was going to get into the house because I knew the doors were locked . . . I remember ONE Christmas so well . . . It was actually Christmas Eve afternoon and we were leaving EARLY on Christmas morning to visit family a few hours away. I must have been around 7 years old. Anyway, I had expressed my concern about us maybe leaving BEFORE Santa made it to our house. I had been in and out, in and out of the living room to check on the tree all day. And it was making my mom and dad unusually "cranky" because I wouldn't stay out of there for more than 2 minutes at a time. We heard some rattling and clanking outside and my mom said "Oh! You had better go see what that noise is - maybe it is Santa come early!" So I took off outside to see what the commotion was - my dad was out there (surprise), but said he had just come out to see what the noise was too - so we looked around, couldn't find anything. All disappointed because I didn't find Santa, I came back into the house and went back to the Christmas tree, and wonder of all wonders, he HAD been there while I was out looking for him.

And what do you mean that Santa isn't real??????? Of course he is. BUT. The most important thing about Christmas is to always remember the reason for the season, and to make sure we impart that knowledge to our children.

Myra J said...

Did? I still do and my children (25 and 29) do too,because when you stop believing, he stops coming. Tho' his name changed over the years..there was a Saint Nicholas. He was born in the third century an died in the year 345. He was the Bishop of Myra, patron saint of mariners, moneylenders, thieves and children. protector of travelers, turners, dyers, coopers, boatmen, bookmakers, sawyers, seedmen, mercers, merchants, Greeks, cities, Jews, packers, spinsters, pirates, Russians, pickpockets, haberdashers, children, fishermen, pilgrims, prisoners, parish clerks, sailors and unwedded maids. Defender of the Faith and maker of many true miracles. Children of that time left their stockings outside to air out and he would often leave coins or food in them (anonimously).
At our house he alternated coming on Christmas eve or Christmas day. He would come if we hid in the closet or while we were at church.

Anonymous said...

You know how I found out about Santa. I was pretty upset about, as most children are I guess.

I'm not sure about letting our future kids think Santa is real or not. I definitely want Santa to be apart of Christmas, but I'm not sure if they need to believe he's a real person living in the North Pole and all that. I could still go either way (and I think Ryan feels the same. I'll go ahead and answer for him--he says he doesn't remember ever believing that Santa was real, but that "Santa" still came and such).

Being Beth said...

I most definitely DID believe in Santa. I still have some of the Christmas letters I wrote to him that my folks saved. One listed all the things I wanted and then I wrote, "I good and I bad." LOL! I think I was about five years old. Unfortunately, I'm still good and I'm still bad.

I believed in Santa for a LONG time -- way past when my younger brothers found out, but nobody told me. I was ten years old when a friend told me and I asked my parents and they confirmed that they in fact left the presents for me, and they were also the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy...that was a BAD day! The worst of it was that for the past several years I'd vehemently insisted Santa was real and felt as though all my friends had been laughing at me all those years.

I did not want my children to go through that disappointment, so we told them from the very beginning that Santa was pretend, though we had special gifts from Santa under the tree. You know what? In-spite-of my intention that they NOT believe, they did anyway! Go figure. LOL

kaylin said...

I did believe in Santa, still do to be honest. I found out because of some bullies that lived next door I think I was about 8.

We told our kids about Santa from the very beginning but we still had presents from Santa. I don't regret telling them but part of me wishes we hadn't. We still have special gifts from Santa even though they are 22 and 21 years old.

Bobbie said...

I don't remember how I found out that Santa wasn't real. Probably older sister, Mary, told me. I do, however, remember those long 12hour drives out of the Valley to spend Christmas with my grandmother in Abilene. And, my Mom also had a bag of surprises to entertain us along the way. If you ever lived in the RGV, you know how long it takes to get anywhere in Texas! I remember driving through Falfurrias and we would laugh at their town Christmas decorations - one string of lights on the one stop light in town. We would often stop for breakfast there and the cafe (probably the only one in town) had a little mechanized band high up in the corner of the dining room - anyone remember that?

I see no harm in having our children believe in Santa. I see the anticipation and wonder now in the eyes of my grandchildren. How could you deny that to your little ones! I have always said that I believed, too, after I had children. There were a couple of lean years financially as a young single mother and it was always a miracle that I could scrape together a good Christmas for my two children - had to have been a miracle.
Bobbie Placke Brodsgaard

Nancy said...

Wow. These are great comments.
Thank you, thank you!

And yes, Bobbie, I so remember that restaurant in Falfurrias. I also remember one in Alice where we'd often see Mission folks eating.

Again I say, thanks, everyone, for the great comments!!

arg said...

At our house, if you didn't believe in Santa then he didn't come! My mom was always so great about having "Santa" handwriting and wrapping paper.

I think that the history of Saint Nicolas - of his caring and generous spirit, of the tradition of giving of yourself to others - is the perfect compliment to the heart and soul of Christmas.

When my brother and I were past believing that a jolly man was sliding down our chimeney we were charged with "Santa-ing" for others. How could anyone argue with that logic? :)

My hometown...

I am thinking of my hometown now. Mission, Texas. And McAllen, Texas. And Mercedes, Texas, where I was born. And Donna, Texas, so near there...