When I was much shorter I would dream of Christmas because of the magic that was associated with it. Santa pulling a sled guided by reindeer across the sky entering homes in a single night around the world... seemed plausible to me. Of course this was at a time in my life when I thought there was an Easter Bunny too. I think I was in high school.
It's funny how time embellishes the past with a warmth that emits from the heart in a time that seemed to be so simple and innocent. That goes without saying as I didn't have to think about anything other than which friend I would play with and what toy I would ask Santa for.
Back in my shorter days I only thought of myself, the toy I was fixated on, and the craft I would bring home to make my parents proud. Ah, the lack of stress gave me pause to drift constantly into the land of make believe. This usually occurred at school sometime between math and english. Perhaps this is why the teachers never really complimented my intellectual prowess but seemed to focus on my gift of "daydreaming". I thought it really was a "gift" to be able to shut the constant droning on of the teacher in exchange for staring out the window. Apparently in some parallel universe this was frowned upon.
My dad had a good friend "Wolo" whom was an artist, puppeteer, and humanitarian. Wolo had a shop in North Beach in San Francisco. We would every once and a while go there so I could play with the puppets and enjoy the childlike atmosphere of this magical shop. This is where my dad purchased an advent calendar (made by Wolo).
That calendar I so enjoyed as it was the countdown to Christmas. Each date represented one step closer to that magical day, December 25th. I was really worked into a frenzy by the time Christmas rolled around. Between the expectation of Santa climbing down the chimney and the constant influx of candy, I was ready to pee out the bottom of the sowed on feet of my pajamas.
I remember the specific year when I stopped believing in Santa, I was seven years old. I had asked Santa for a firetruck. My mom took me to the grocery store the day before Christmas and this little neighbor kid comes up behind me and tells me that Santa isn't real. I told him (very diplomatically) he was wrong. However, somewhere in my heart I knew he was right. That night I searched the house to prove he was wrong and in the room downstairs under the bed I found the firetruck.
In that moment I realized two things:
Life can be cruel.
Don't always believe what you hear, no matter who is telling you.
After I thought about it for a while I understood that my parents loved me enough to try to keep the spirit of Santa alive. The other thing I learned was how much better it is to give than receive. To see that wonderful smile appear as you gave something of yourself to someone you love... is really what Christmas is all about.
This blog is sponsored by PAZAZ™ "The Magic of Cooking", Kitchen Tools for the discerning Chef. Please go to www.pazazshop.com to purchase these "AMAZING" Kitchen Tools.