This year is Miss H's first year of really getting the whole Santa thing. She knows all the words to "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," and she sings it with gusto. She asks me every day if she is on the good list or the naughty list.
As such, my husband and I have really had to up our Santa game. We had her create her own letter to Santa with pictures cut out from magazines. He and I have been having conversations about shopping for gifts in the evenings after the girls go to bed. We have each done our share of secret "Santa" shopping trips. Last night, we wrapped Santa's gifts in special Santa wrapping paper.
All of this "Playing Santa" really got me thinking about my childhood. My parents always made sure that our Christmases were wonderful and magical. I am ashamed to admit that I believed in Santa far longer than most kids (5th grade!) because my parents did such a good job creating the mystery of Santa and keeping the secret.
How did they do it? Did they sit together on winter evenings like my husband and I discussing which gifts to purchase? When did they buy the presents? Where did they hide them?
Now that I am a parent, every day gives me a different experience that brings me closer to my parents than ever. It makes me appreciate them so much more than I ever did then. How could I have known then how much they did for us? Only now does it become clear. I can only hope to be as good at this as they are.