Now, in order for you to fully understand this tale, I must take you back in time one year to Christmas 2011. I teach at the same school where my two daughters attend. Last year, my oldest daughter skipped a grade and moved into 5th. At the time, my youngest was in a separate elementary building completing 2nd grade. So, my oldest child is advanced intellectually and socially, but I was not prepared for the reactions of the other students.
I was conducting a reading group, and out of the blue, this big, bulky boy–who usually bullies the other students–raises his hand and asks, “Mrs. Boltz, does your daughter still believe in Santa?” Now, in school, I tell ALL the kids I still believe in Santa. I do not want to crush any child or ruin any parents’ traditions. So, I always try to steer clear of the Santa talk. I told him “Yes” and also told him I still believe. I might have even been wearing my Santa tee that reads,” YOU GOTTA BELIEVE TO RECEIVE.”
Anyway, he proceeds to tell me that Santa is not real; he does not believe in Santa; and he is going to tell my daughter that Santa is not real. I quickly returned the discussion to our reading, but I was fuming inside. There was nothing I could do; I could not punish him for his beliefs or even for his threat to tell my daughter this truth. So, I finished my lesson, stewing inside.
That night, after our girls had gone to sleep, I shared the story with my husband, and he and I made a decision. We determined that although we did not want to ruin Christmas for our daughter, we also did not want this boy to steal her joy. So, we decided to sit her down the next day and explain the situation to her. Well let me tell you this: It was not pretty. Once the words sunk in, her intelligent mind began to turn, and she put all the piece together. Through tears, she said, “So, I guess that means no Easter Bunny, no Tooth Fairy, none of them.” I confirmed what she had concluded. it was one sad morning. She agreed not to share the information with her little sister, and I must say, she did a great job; my little one only figured it out this year. It seems that in our area 3rd grade is the grade. I think it’s because kids have older siblings who ruin it for them. So, I was proud of her for keeping the secret.
That weekend, my mother showed up with THE ELF ON THE SHELF. Now, based on what I have just written, one would think, “Well, she definitely won’t buy into this guy.” Believe it or not, for some reason, she did! My husband and I think she wanted something she could believe in, so she chose the elf. The girls named him Patrick, and we had so much fun with him. My husband and I would move him each night before bed, and sometimes during the day, while we were at work and school, my mom would come to our house and move him again. Patrick truly did bring the Christmas spirit alive in our home.
On to their gifting: Both girls wanted a cat in a major way. My husband and I were against any pet that required more work than a fish or hermit crab. However, seeing the light in our daughter’s eyes, my husband and I reluctantly made the decision to buy a kitten for the girls. The spirit of Christmas had caught us as well. Since then, we have questioned our decision several times, but in the end, we realize we did what was best for our girls. My husband said the moment that broke him occurred when he asked our oldest daughter what she wanted for Christmas. She said, “Well, since I can’t have a cat, I guess I will take iTunes gift cards.” That broke his heart, knowing that of all the things she could have asked for, she could only think of iTunes cards, an item we already purchased for them whenever they needed them. So, that year, Callie entered our home, a tiny ball of striped fur.
On to my Christmas miracle: This year I have been very stressed out at work. Our youngest daughter wants a lap top, so our oldest daughter receives the water park trip with a friend. I wanted to prepare a little something for each person with whom I work, because all of us had been under pressure. So, although I did not have a lot of family Christmas shopping to do, I was fairly busy getting everything together. In the midst of it, my husband wonders when I am going to do the family picture Christmas card. I informed him that I wasn’t planning to prepare a card. Well, that did not work for him. So, he said,” I’ll do the card.”
Immediately, “Yeah, right,” crept into my head. The night of our oldest daughter’s band concert–all of us were dressed presentably–we had a family shot taken. Still, I did not believe he would ever get around to 1. having the cards made 2. addressing the cards, and 3. sending the cards. But, to my surprise, it did happen! The funny part of this story is the picture. When the girls saw the picture, they were somewhat disappointed. Background needed: Of all of us, I am the one who pays the cat the least attention. I like her and everything, but I am not a huge pet fan, and I do not like cat fur on my clothing. Every now and then I will sit her; I give her treats, and I love the excitement she has brought to our family. But, I spend the least time with her. So, the girls look at the card, and simultaneously say to my husband, “The cat is looking at Mom!” It is true. My husband is holding the cat; the girls are in the front; I am beside my husband but back slightly, and the cat’s head is turned completely to look at me!
So, to end my Christmas tale, miracle are for real. I love my husband, but I sometimes think men don’t realize everything that goes into Christmas and being ready for the season. My husband did admit the cards required more work than he expected. But, he did accomplish the task. Tis the season!