O and U: Outings; Unknown
Despite what you know is good for your children, when it comes to Christmas, the rules don’t apply. This may have been one of the last years to use “the elves are watching” threats to my advantage and most importantly live vicariously through their belief that Santa still exists. And I blew it.
My logic got the best of me. My 7-yr-old wanted a DQ Blizzard Maker. It was the only thing she asked of Santa. Rather than buy this cheap piece of plastic, I searched out other ways to recreate the experience. Luckily, when Christmas morning arrived, the explanatory note from Santa justified the ice cream sprinkle toppings, two special ice cream bowls and directions to the ice box where smoothie mix and ice cream awaited. Santa said our blender would work just fine to create magical ice cream treats. She seemed happy and nary a mention of the missing blizzard maker have I heard.
My 5-yr-old asked Santa for Legos and Hotwheels. After comparing gift purchases with the family and learning that they were getting him every variation of gifts in these areas (from PJs and T-shirts to calendars), I decided to go my own route. I got him a castle. He was astonished on Christmas morning. Baffled. Didn’t Santa understand his wishes? What about sugar-plum dreams of Legos and Hotwheels? He wouldn’t go near the castle, he insisted it was a mistake and must have been meant for his sister. How spoiled, right? Regardless, I still felt bad.
After all, we had just visited the new unveiling of the new Lego store at the Mall of America two nights prior. There was a huge Legoed Toy-Story Woody and a clear Legoed wall with each circle half-open for reaching in for Legos by shape and color – a Lego collectors dream. Surely, there were many items there he envisioned getting from Santa.
Which brings me to the conclusion that the Santa gift is the all-important, most anticipated one for children who still believe. It’s our job as parents to make that happen. I should have swapped out some other stuff, insisted that a massive 1,333 piece Lego masterpiece arrive via Santa. I have regrets.
Later on Christmas Day as the sleepless night prior kicked in for my son, we had a talk about graciousness in accepting a gift, Santa’s gift in particular. He was a bit stubborn and held out, “why did we go see Santa and tell him our wishes if he was just going to get us what he wanted to anyway?” He had a point. A bit more discussion and he came around to see it to my advantage, finally falling into a deep post-Christmas slumber.
I am glad I didn’t give into making up some creative gift exchange/return clause for Santa gifts. I was close. The next morning, both kids happily played with their new castle from Wonderment. I am feeling better about it now – choosing to believe that maybe Santa did know best.