Thursday, December 5, 2013

"A Wink of His Eye and a Twist of His Head Soon Gave Me to Know I Had Nothing to Dread"

Last year, Logan was only a little nugget baby so I didn't even cater to the thought of having her picture taken with Santa. I actually didn't ever want to get her picture taken with Santa. I, admittedly, am terrified of costumed characters. I remember hiding from that big creeper mouse "Chucky" at Chuck-E-Cheese every time he came around. I don't think I have any childhood pictures with Tigger or Ariel or Mickey from trips to Disneyland. I loathe clowns. I've always had a feeling to not trust people whose faces were disguised; ok I am crazy, but I know there's people out there that agree, right?

I am going to tell you a little secret to keep us on the "Ali's crazy" train.. I have few memories from childhood, most are from home videos or pictures, but there are a few that are truly my memories. One that I laugh over is; one year (I am pretty sure it was Christmas of 1993 because it was at the house my mom, sister and I lived in for a short time until the Northridge earthquake booted us into a family friends home) I layed awake in terror all Christmas Eve night because my room had a window that looked on to a part of the first floors roof and I did not want to see Santa Claus. I remember my thoughts were something along the lines of, "What a creep! I don't want a strange old man in our house!" But mostly it was because I was scared of Santa himself; the mysterious fat old Saint Nick. This also may have been the year I asked my Aunt Nancy to tell me the truth about Santa and she did. I felt a sense of relief that I didn't have to lay awake in fear the next year.

As a teenager and an adult, each Christmas season, I'd walk past Santa and his admireres at the mall and I'd make some snarky comment like "Ew. You really have to wonder who would take a job as Santa and have kids sit on their laps all day." Yes, I'm an asshole. But this year, this year my friends, it all changed for me. As soon as Logan's birthday was over and December was getting closer and closer, all I could think about was having her picture taken with Santa. We went on a Sunday morning, right when Santa's hours started to avoid the major crowds, and as we were waiting in the short line I was excited to see him; excited to see Logan's first Santa sighting. I was thrilled to see that Santa looked like Santa, not a cheap mall knock off nor a fake beard one that reminds you of the guy from "A Christmas Story", he genuinely was Santa and my little Grinch heart grew three sizes that day! Logan was very fascinated with his glove, Rory was hoping for her to cry (because "everyone needs a picture crying with Santa" he says), and I was about to cry out of pure joy. I felt like this man, this Santa, was magical and sweet and, really, for the first time in my life, I believed in Santa. I believed for Logan, I believed for my Uncle Dave who tried to get me to believe until the day he died, I believed for all those excited kids in line with us.
It was a Christmas miracle I tell you.

It's such a gift to be able to set aside my own "isms" and just be purely excited and happy for Logan's experiences and memories. I never want the feelings I had as a weirdo kid to inhibit her childhood or hold her back from making the sweetest most innocent memories. I have been thinking a lot about goals I am setting for myself now that my baby is growing. She's picking up on behaviors and words; I do not want negative or nasty things to come out of my mouth anymore. I want to always be respectful and positive. If someone is being rude to me, I want to act toward them with grace and kindness. I want to be able to forgive. I want to say "I am frustrated" instead of a cuss word. I want to be in love with the idea of Santa and the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy, all for the sake of my daughter.

It's been sort of silly to talk with Rory about our "Santa" plans; how we will introduce Santa to her and what traditions we will start in our home. It makes me feel like a real grown up! I definitely want the real story of Saint Nicholas to be at the forefront of our conversations about Santa. To me, Santa is not a character that either Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston Jr. made up in the 1800's.. Santa is the spirit of Saint Nicholas, a man who truly lived and did good works in Jesus' name. It will definitely be an adventure for us, a whole new chapter of life and an opportunity to begin traditions for our family of three.



  1. hahahahaha! omg, i can seriously relate to this on so many levels. i still have yet to take ava to chuck e cheese because i absolutely HATED the mouse and characters. she's seen commercials on tv, and now that she's older tyler continues to give me a hard time that i'm being "selfish" for not taking her. ahh, haha seriously this makes me laugh. i love you ali.

    1. Haha! Selfish? No way! Just guarding your child from a massive rat!