I Didn’t Sleep Last Night
But I wrote a post, marking the minutes as they passed.
It’s too down. Too depressing to put up here.
After all, this is the best time of year, right?
And I shouldn’t feel this way.
Once, when I was very young, my little sister and I heard Santa on the roof.
It was Christmas Eve.
We heard his sleigh bells.
We heard the scuffling of feet above us.
We were at my grandmother’s house.
We lay in bed then closed our eyes but knew right then and there that Santa did come to little girls’ homes when they were awake.
I love that memory.
In first grade I defended Santa and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and some cartoon characters and the guy with the pot o’ gold and vampires almost to blows.
Second and third grade, too.
It’s embarrassing to find out in fourth grade none of those good things are what they seem for everyone else and so we have to fight
–for the right
And to believe.
So I taught my girls that we give because we love and that Santa was a great guy who lived a long time ago and gave to those he saw who had nothing.
Every year, no matter our own circumstances, we try to give to those who have nothing because, damn it, we have a lot.
Here’s what I know–a character who believes in Santa is different than one who doesn’t.
Make your character an individual.
One who hears the sleigh bells and punches the snotty dark brown-haired girl in the nose.
Or, make her the snotty brown-haired girl.
Either way, make her real.
Here’s an aside story.
When Kyra was just over two, a well-meaning friend got face-to-face with her (a big mistake in Kyra’s book) and said, “What’s Santa bringing you for Christmas?”
We were in a busy store. Lots of people milling about.
“Santa’s dead.” Kyra said this in a loud voice and with authority–the way she still says stuff.
Kinda the same voice she used when she asked me if we were in Satan’s church when we went to visit someone else’s place of worship.
Hmmm. Satan and Santa are spelled sorta the same.
And I believe in both those guys.
No matter–it was Santa on the roof that night.