As a child, I used to anticipate Christmas for months. Once the first cool autumn breeze blew in, I began looking forward to Christmas and all the presents I’d get from Santa. Even though my family didn’t have much money, somehow, Santa always came through and got me at least one toy I really wanted whether it be Star Wars toys or a Big Wheel or a stuffed dog I still have to this day.
I haven’t looked forward to Christmas in a long time. Over the years, the magic faded as the responsibilities and obligations of the season outweigh any joy the actual day brings. This year is a little different, though.
While this is E’s third Christmas, it is in many ways his first. He was just an infant for his first Christmas and didn’t understand enough last year to either look forward to it or enjoy it. This year, though, he understands a bit more. He decorated stuff, sang Christmas songs, watched Christmas cartoons on TV and sat on Santa’s lap without crying.
And he understands that presents are really, really cool.
I’m not sure he gets the whole Santa thing just yet, though. My wife and I were undecided how we would approach Santa. Do we or don’t we?
A few weeks ago, E was sitting on my lap looking at Disney (Pixar’s) Cars on the computer, as is our nightly custom. He likes to look at pictures of the toy cars that people post on collector sites and stuff. Side note: There are a ton of Cars toys! So we saw the green Chick Hicks truck and he started asking for it over and over and over again in the way that kids do so well. Rather than say “no” or “maybe someday” or any of the usual delaying tactics I use, I told him that maybe Santa would bring it to him.
I then explained to him that Santa Claus brings toys to boys and girls on Christmas and maybe we’d go see Santa (at the mall) and ask him for the “green Chick Hicks truck.”
It calmed him down. For a few seconds. During the next several days, I simply repeated the mantra, “we’ll ask Santa.”
Eventually, he began to realize that on Christmas, Santa might bring him the truck. And he began talking about it. A lot. And it was adorable.
Of course, finding a specific Cars toy is next to impossible, as stores stock tons of one Cars character and maybe five of another and when they’re gone, they’re gone. You can try your luck on ebay or at various online merchants which price the cars not like toys, but rather collector’s items, with insanely high prices. And while I’d seen the green truck he wants a hundred times back when he was interested in the other cars and trucks, it wasn’t there the last few times I’d been to the store.
Well, for various reasons, we didn’t get to the mall. However, earlier this week, we went to a lights display in the city and they had Santa there. E got excited at the prospect of telling Santa what he wants for Christmas. I asked him to recite his list.
“A green Chick Hicks and a Blue Dynoco Lightning McQueen.”
Yeah, the list grew. Though, I’m impressed that it’s stayed at two cars.
So, we waited in line forever while he whined impatiently for his turn on Santa’s lap to come. When it was his turn, he got all quiet and serious and approached Santa very slowly. I put him on Santa’s lap and Santa greeted him and asked what he wanted. E didn’t respond; he was being all shy and serious.
“A green Chick Hicks truck and a blue Dynoco McQueen,” he said, though his voice was so timid and tiny, you could barely hear him.
As I carried him back to mommy, he was upset. “What is it?” I asked.
“I want the green Chick Hicks truck.”
Apparently he thought that once he asked Santa for the gift, he’d get it right then and there. I explained to him that Santa would come on Friday. He nodded his head okay, sniffling back the tears.
And so we wait for Christmas morning. I can’t wait to see his face when he spots the presents under the tree. We couldn’t get much this year, but that’s okay. I have a feeling that Santa will deliver what E wants.
And for the first time in forever, I’m actually looking forward to Christmas morning. The magic of the season is back.
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