No, this isn’t THAT Santa situation. We’re firmly Team St. Nick over here at Casa de NSJM. But a conversation on tonight’s car ride home has proven that we (Dan and yours truly) do not see eye-to-eye on how, exactly Santa brings the presents.
Here’s a recreation of our conversation:
Me: “I really need to wrap some presents.”
Dan: “We really need to find a place to hide the wrapped presents.”
Me: o_O ::scratches head:: “Uh, we put them under the tree.”
Dan: “But Santa brings the presents.”
Me: “But they’re not all from Santa. Some of them are from us.”
Dan: “But Santa brings those, too.”
Me: o_O “No, Santa brings the big presents. And Santa doesn’t always wrap his presents. Some of them are just ready and waiting for play when you wake up on Christmas morning.”
Dan: O_o “That’s dumb. Because then you wouldn’t want to open anything else. I think you need to ask The Twitters about this.”
Yes, he really suggested asking The Twitters.
We’ve been together for 8 Christmases now and until tonight had never shared our Santa stories with each other which proves that there’s always something new to learn about those you think you know.
When I was little, presents showed up sporadically under the tree throughout the holiday season. No tags were used so we didn’t know which presents were ours. Mama just had her super secret way of knowing which gift went to whom and in all of my life, we never opened a present belonging to someone else.
(She’s magic, that one. There were no assigned wrapping papers. There were no names written in secret on the packages. She just knew. I tried this and it drove Dan insane.)
When we woke up on Christmas morning our “big” presents (a.k.a. the Santa gifts) were unwrapped and waiting for us.
The year I got my Cabbage Patch doll, she was laying in a wooden cradle. (I named her Christy Lee.)
The year I got a Nintendo (old school, with the big square cartridges) it was hooked up and the demo screen was playing when I stumbled into the living room at an ungodly hour of the morning because Daddy was a bigger kid than we were and was always waking us up at something like 4 a.m. (Not joking.)
Dan’s family, on the other hand, has a tradition of receiving gifts from everyone, including but not limited to Ayatollah Khomeini, Boba Fett, Porky Linkster, various pets, reindeer, and Condoleeza Rice. None of which show up before Christmas morning.
(This tradition of labeling gifts as being from random people is hilarious and awesome to me and is one that I’ve adopted wholeheartedly.)
When Dan and his sister were little all of these gifts showed up underneath the tree after they’d gone to bed on Christmas Eve. Santa presents were wrapped. Gifts from his mom and dad were wrapped. Everything was wrapped. And nothing showed up before Christmas Eve (except gifts from out-of-town family and friends of the family, which had to go under the tree not to be opened until Christmas morning). Otherwise, Santa brought everything. Even presents from his parents.
For the past two years, Santa’s been kind of a moot point around here. We’ve each bought Joshua three things and we’ve kept those three things a secret from the other person because otherwise, Christmas was kind of pointless since Joshua was way more interested in the boxes than anything that was inside them. But this year is a little different. He sort of gets it. Or at least he gets the opening presents part of it. Sort of.
But this Santa background thing? Is proving quite difficult.
I like my way because 1) it’s what I know, 2) it takes a lot of the focus off of Santa and keeps it real that he’s not the only gift-giver in town, 3) it’s what I know.
Dan likes his way because 1) it’s what he knows, 2) it’s a surprise, 3) it’s what he knows. (Oh, and he thinks my way is weird.)
How do we blend these two traditions to make something new?