Sometimes, when it is just me and my Daddy in the car, we can be silly. Daddy will make funny faces at me, and I can play and dance and shout-sing and laugh, and we have such a good time. My Daddy sent Mama this picture to show her just how much fun we were having shout-singing and laughing together.
Sometimes though, all that shout-singing and laughing and dancing, with the buzz of the car and the noise of the road passing under our little car can make my eyes so, so heavy so, so fast that before I know it, we’re home and I don’t remember getting there. Oh Daddy, you’re so good at wearing me out with the highest level of fun that a little girl could ever have.
I have dreams of Santa. I have even said the word “Santa” over and over, even though Mama and Daddy have no idea how I would know his name yet—after all, I am only 16 months old and my memories of last Christmas are really fuzzy. I remember the tree lights, and I remember my brother and sisters laughing around me, but I don’t remember the day really as I was much too little. For me it was almost a lifetime ago.
I know Santa, though, even though Mama and Daddy don’t know how I know, and I know where the real spirit of Christmas is—everywhere all around us. It is in everything that parents do to make their children have a happy Christmas, and it is in the feeling of happiness and love that is all around us everywhere that we go during this time. You can feel it, and it is like a soft and fuzzy blanket tucking you in. You can’t really see it or touch it, but it is there all the same.
Santa is kind of like that, and he is real. I know it, and I feel him in the spirit of everyone around me. He is a bright shining light all around all of us, coming and bringing cheer and happiness and presents to children all around the world. No one knows exactly where he is or what he looks like, not exactly, as he looks different all over the world. We think that he is big and jolly where we are, and we have stockings hung up for him. Not everyone sees him that way, but that is what makes him so wonderful—he can be big or small, he can put little presents in shoes or giant socks, and we all love him just the same because he is one of the most giving powers on the Earth.
No one knows exactly where he goes before Christmas, either. Little children all over the world go to see him, and they let him know what they would like to have from him and that they have been good, but there are many, many children in the world, and there are many places where you can go to visit with him. Some people think that he is everywhere all at once because of his magic and that he looks different ways to different people. Other people think that he is only at one place and that he has a lot of helper Santas all working to make him able to see all of the little children. Some people think that his spirit is everywhere that we go at Christmastime and that we all have him in our lives even if you do not go to see him. No one knows for sure.
The big Macy’s in New York City, I think though, just might be the place where he really is. I know, because we went, and it was one of those places where you could feel Christmas spirit all around you. When we went up and up and up to the number 8 floor where Santa is, there were many children of all ages and even big people like Mama and Daddy all waiting to see him. There were elves everywhere, and they all talked about how excited they were that Christmas was right around the corner.
There were scenes behind glass that moved that Mama called “displays” that were “animated.” They were beautiful, and they looked like they had been around for a long time and that they had been seen by many children that were now big people like Mama and Daddy and older than them too. After the displays that moved there was a train, and it was bright and took us into the world of the North Pole—which I hear is the place where he lives. There was a giant tree and trains that moved around in little miniature towns, and there were reindeer that laughed and talked to you. With everything happening around us, time went by really fast—like magic—until it was time for us to go into the little room to see Santa.
I told you that this may have been the real Santa. It wasn’t all of the things that were magical or the elves or any of those types of things… it was the feeling that I got when I sat in his lap with my big sister Addie. He was so gentle in everything that he said, and his smile was so warm when he had us speak to him that you couldn’t help but to love him and to want to stay. I would have stayed all day with him if I had been able to, but there were a lot of people that wanted to talk to him, so we had to let them go, too.
He first asked Adalyn, “What is the one thing that you want for Christmas?” She told him a giant kitty stuffed animal. Then he asked me. He didn’t ask Mama or Addie or Daddy like most people do because they expect the big people to answer for me—he asked me. I couldn’t say what I wanted because I really can’t let all of the words out that I know inside my head yet, so Addie said, “a little kitchen with little pans and food.” That was right—I like to cook like my Daddy does, and I know how to stir and mix ingredients already, but I need my own pretend place to make things for Daddy to do special things for him too like he does for us pretty much every day.
Then it was time to go.
Mama picked me up to take me away, and I stopped. I stopped right there and I stared at him, Santa Claus, love of all small children, and I reached for him. I reached out silently, not shouting in my big voice like I normally would (as I knew that it was the time for silence) as far as my arm would go. I looked at him, and he didn’t go on to the next people that wanted to see him—he spent a moment with me instead. He waved to me like other small children wave to me, with his hand opening and closing, and said, “Santa loves you, dear,” and he smiled. His soft voice was love, and I knew that he meant for me to hear it, not Mama or even Addie. It was meant only for me, and it was what I know to be part of the love of Christmas spirit… the love of bringing others joy. We had to leave then, but I took that part of Santa Claus along with me, and it is still there… the spirit of giving and the kindness of Christmas.
I saw those window displays of “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” too. Mama explained the letter where the little girl asked the New York Sun if there was a Santa Claus and their response that yes, there was a Santa. I knew it anyway. There is a Santa Claus, and as the letter says, “He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times and 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”
Oh, Mama, you are going to be so proud. While you were getting music ready for us to dance together, I was really busy with the marker that I found under the couch. I got the top off of it, and I made art all over your table. See how beautiful it is? Doesn’t the blue go well with that red that you had on there already? It’s a sky, can you see it? It’s just like when we are outside, and now I brought it in for you to see today since the sun didn’t come out to play. I even said, “see?” when you came over because I knew you would be so, so happy with me. That’s my way to show you that I love you, and if you give the marker back– I’m not sure where you put it– I can color all sorts of other things for you, too, and put the sky everywhere.
I know that you loved it, because you said, “ohhhhh shoot” a couple of times when you saw it. You’re welcome, Mama, you’re welcome.
With the big drum set for my big sister Addie came a giant, giant box as big as six of me. Mama placed me in that big box with some of my favorite toys, and I got to make it my own little house. I closed up part of the lid and I hid from the world, and it was all mine. It needs a bit of décor of course, but I could make this place work. Bye, Mama, bye, Daddy, bye Jonah and Lilli and Addie… I’ll see you guys later. I have some things that I need to do right now, and I need “me” time.