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The Santa Situation

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?

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Tuesday 20th of December 2011

This is what we do: Presents get put under the tree throughout Christmas time with who they're from/to. Then Christmas morning bigger presents or ones that aren't as easy to wrap are put out in certain designated areas for each kid. Along with these presents (from Santa) were the stockings that Santa filled with candy and other little goodies. Each year the designated area for each kid changes, which is also pretty cool because you never know where your presents are going to be until you get into the family room. :)


Tuesday 20th of December 2011

The kids take turns opening the presents as well. It definitely makes the fun of Christmas last longer.


Monday 19th of December 2011

Also, stuffed animals weren't wrapped usually, because I was concerned about that not being a nice thing to do to them. I mean, what if they wanted to breathe? So any stuffed animals given to me were usually just sitting under tree by Xmas morning, unwrapped and freeeeee.

I couldn't do it without those little nametag stickers. No way could I remember.


Monday 19th of December 2011

We had presents from Mommy & Daddy, wrapped, and out under the tree before Xmas. There were also presents, wrapped, from Santa, put under tree after I went to bed Xmas Eve. Course, I was the Unwrapper/Rewrapper No One None the Wiser kind of kid. I also caught on that all the handwriting was the same early on. Stocking stuff was just extra stuff and hung on bedroom doors. I don't think I was ever told the stockings had anything to do with Santa.


Monday 19th of December 2011

Why am I not receiving gifts from Boba Fett?

We placed presents given to us from friends & family under the tree -- then the gifts from Santa would arrive, under the tree, sometime Christmas Eve (usually between my dad's second and fifth glass of wine), all of them wrapped.

I have a feeling that Santa shows up, at our house, on Christmas eve with an armada of gift bags. Just a sneaking suspicion.

Jenn @ Middle of Mommyhood

Monday 19th of December 2011

I know it may be hard for you to imagine, but I was a very cynical kid. I can honestly say that I never believed in Santa and didn't understand how other kids could be duped, though I pretended for the longest time that I did because I didn't want to ruin my mom's Christmas. She loved thinking I believed in something. She needed me to believe in something.

That being said, "Santa" left our presents, big and small, unwrapped, and he also filled our stockings. Presents from our parents and from each other were wrapped and placed under the tree before Christmas. Presents from parents were usually the embarrassing things or the things that were no fun. And if we got underwear, it only came from the parent of the same gender. We always got underwear. When I was a teenager and at an obvious non-believing age (poor mom), my mom would still leave some of the bigger surprise gifts unwrapped on Christmas Eve, I think just to hold on to that magic a little longer.

I'm lucky that Brandon and I had basically the same traditions, and they continue here...except that I'm behind on the wrapping and have one wrapped gift and four gift bags under there now. And those gift bags are from Julia to all of us. Need a Christmas miracle.

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