When I came across this picture this morning I found myself once more taking a walk down memory lane. I remember the year that the bubble lights found their way to our Christmas Tree. I was mesmerized by them. I remember sitting in front of the tree for what seemed like forever waiting for the lights to warm up so the bubbles in the colored liquid would bubble repeatedly. After the bubble light show would begin I would sit for hours watching them and doing some Christmas dreaming in the process.
The Christmas' of my youth were not commercialized like they are today. I recall early memories of believing in Santa. I would faithfully write my yearly letter to Santa and ask for that "ONE" special gift. I always agonized over what I wanted that gift to be. There would be no Christmas cash from grandparents for shopping after Christmas to go buy what I wanted, but didn't get. All of my grandparents had passed away except for my maternal grandmother and her gift to us at Christmas was handmade and from the heart. I appreciated that far more than an envelope with money in it. With my letter written, I knew that jolly little man with the red rosy cheeks and hearty 'Ho Ho Ho' would do all that he could to make my wish come true.
I will never forget the year that my belief was shaken. After a Sunday service at our church, all of the members were invited to a Sunday potluck dinner at the minister's home. I was at that age where although I enjoyed playing with the other children, I also liked to be within ear shot of the adults to see what they were talking about. On this particular day it proved to be a bad idea. As I stood quietly by the doorway of the kitchen I heard the church ladies discussing Santa. I knew this was a conversation I didn't want to miss, but should have. My heart was crushed when I heard the words........ "At what age should we tell our children that Santa just doesn't exist?"
I think I was in shock. Of course back then I had no idea what shock was. I just knew that I had to find a quiet place to myself. When I did, I sat and cried until there just wasn't any tears left to cry. These were church ladies that I had overheard talking about there being no Santa. Church ladies wouldn't lie, would they?
This was also the year that I asked Santa for a beautiful ballerina doll that I had seen at the store. If there really was no Santa, then I might as well forget about that ballerina doll. To reinforce that thought, the next time I went shopping with my mother, the doll was no longer there. I was sure that someone had bought it and taken it home to their little girl. Being stubborn and bullheaded as I sometimes can be, I remember laying in bed that night and saying over and over to myself until I fell asleep, "There Is Too A Santa!" "There Is Too A Santa!" I don't think I ever put as much effort into believing in something as I did that year trying to rebuild my shaken belief in Santa's existence.
When Christmas morning came that year, there under the Christmas tree was the ballerina doll that I had wanted with all of my heart and that I had asked for in my letter to Santa. Although I never again wrote yearly letters to Santa after that Christmas, I still never completely let go of my belief in him.
Many years later as a mother and faced with the question of Santa's existence from my own children, I just simply told them, "When you stop believing, is when Santa no longer comes." This year my children are 35 and 40 and I'm pretty sure they still believe. At least in the goodness of Santa in a person's heart.
Dare To Believe!