I am heading off on vacation with my son tomorrow so I may not post again before Christmas (depending on wi-fi access in Mexico and how much “fun” we have! :) ) so I wanted to post my Christmas story now.
One year when I was at about that age, eight or nine maybe, as Easter was approaching, I proudly announced to my parents that I no longer believed in the Easter Bunny. Since I was the oldest of the children my father said, “That’s fine son, just don’t spoil it for your little sisters, OK?”
So on that Easter Sunday morning when we all got out of bed there were only two Easter baskets in the front room instead of the usual three. Oh! So even then, being the little analyst, as my little sisters were tearing into their Easter baskets and I did not have one, I quickly began to re-think this whole not believing in the Easter bunny thing! :)
Fast forward several years; I was now 13 and it was December and Christmas was in the air. We were all gathered at the dinner table eating when my next youngest sister announced that she no longer believed in Santa Clause. I immediately jumped in and proclaimed, “Oh yes you do! You better believe in Santa Clause! He *is* real!” There was an uncomfortable silence that I did not understand and the topic changed rapidly.
Later that evening my father asked me to sit down with him. I could tell he was very uncomfortable which was unusual for him. He started off with, “You know son, you have, uh, reached, uh, an age where there are, uh, you know, uh, well there are things we need to talk about.”
OH NO! Suddenly it hits me! He is uncomfortable, stuttering, I am 13…OH NO! IT’S THE SEX TALK! I am NOT ready to talk about SEX with my Dad! My tummy curdles up, I start to panic and mentally I am huddled in the corner rocking back and forth muttering, “Oh no, oh no, oh no!”
Even still, Dad’s words continue to penetrate my panicked state, Dad is saying, “and you know, your mom and I are uh, getting worried because uh, frankly you, uh, you know, you are uh, just too old to believe in Santa!”
Huh? Santa? What? What the hell does Santa have to do with SEX? Wait a minute, calm down, replay that tape in your head, what did he say. OH THANK GOD! This is not THE TALK! Mom and Dad are just freaking out because they think I still believe in SANTA! Whew!
Since I was so relieved this was not THE TALK I blurted out, “I don’t believe in Santa Dad!”
“What? Well what was that thing with your sister tonight?”
“Oh... OH! Well, when I told you I did not believe in the Easter Bunny any more you stopped giving me Easter Baskets right?”
“Well shoot Dad, Christmas is the big time, I was not going to mess with that and I did not want my little sister to miss out on it either!”
OK, so now Dad looks, shocked, guilty and relieved all at the same time. He said, “Oh son, you really had your mother and I very worried, we were really concerned that you were having mental problems still believing so forcefully in Santa at your age! I see what you were thinking now.” I can see the guilt in his face.
So, first off, crises averted! No sex talk! Second, I got what I wanted for Christmas that year, a gun steel blue 10 speed “English Racer” (I rode that bike until I bought my first car!) third, I did not have to pretend to believe in Santa anymore and best of all, the next Easter morning I had an Easter Basket with my sisters again and each Easter thereafter. Yeah baby!
In fact, a few years later I joined the Air Force and my mother continued to send Easter baskets to me at Air Force bases wherever I was stationed. All the guys in the barracks would always razz me about my "Easter basket from Mommy" so I always had to explain to them how important it is to believe!