Playing Santa


It is Christmas eve. I put the girls down for a nap and sit with my laptop on the recliner. The candy cane stocking holders and the initialed, plaid stockings mock me. I waffle. Images of the twins carrying around scrolls of paper listing what they wanted from Santa flash in front of my eyes. I feel annoyance. I hear the childish voices ringing out confidently. A doggie, Lalaloopsy and a kitty cat. I sigh and give up.

Half hour later, I am back from the store a small plastic bag holding my loot. Two lalaloopsy dolls and odds and ends that will go into the stocking. I get back to work, the sting of guilt easing. As I wrap up for the day and wait for the girls to wake, I am happy I caved in. In the grand scheme of things, the money spent will be recouped, the lalaloopsy dolls will be relegated to one of the many pastel bins in their play room. Memories will be made and the next year will roll around with newer lists and flashier toys. But this year, this Christmas morning when the kids look under the tree or dip their tiny hands into their stocking the smiles on their face and the wonderment on their faces will be worth it.

Walking around the aisles in the store, I felt kinship with the other hassled shoppers. As I reached out for a toy, I shared a knowing smile with a lady next to me. Ringing up my purchases, the sales associate grinned to herself. Walking out in the cold, I felt the magic of the season wash over me. Another couple of years and Santa will be a myth but the gift giving will go on. I finally get the sappy emotions behind the Christmas movies on Hallmark. I have a goofy smile plastered on my face and I can’t wait for tomorrow morning.


Author. Parent.

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