Ugh, I’m DREADING this post a little bit because it’s so embarrassing.
Okay, so when I was in 5th grade I got a laptop for Christmas. Well, my sister and I both got a laptop for Christmas to share. It was the coolest thing ever. I still consider it one of the coolest gifts I’ve ever gotten. I’ve gotten sentimental gifts that I consider cool and some of the best I’ve ever gotten, but come on, a LAPTOP? That has to stay on the list forever, because that was so nice of my parents. Anyway.
When we went back to school after winter break, my homeroom teacher asked us all what we got for Christmas. I’m pretty sure she went around the room and we all just shared what we got, since I know there is no way in hell I ever raised my hand and volunteered to talk in front of the class. Just this year, a junior in college, is the first time I’ve actually raised my hand and volunteered to answer questions in classes. Yikes. So while I had no choice but to participate, I was a little excited because, hello, I got to tell everyone I got a laptop. So cool, right?
I guess it’s time I provide a little bit of context. My mom is a Christmas freak (gee, wonder where I get it). My dad, not so much. My mom would go out of her way to have us make cookies for Santa and leave out snacks for the reindeer, and WOW they would be gone in the morning. She would write us notes from Santa (in her own handwriting, but of course we didn’t put two and two together) in unique ways, and cover the paper in glitter. She would stay up until four in the morning Christmas day to wrap our presents, just to make sure we didn’t see them under the tree before Santa was supposed to have arrived, and she would sign a lot of our presents with “Santa” and others “Mom and Dad.”
The thing is, my sister and I were fantasy freaks growing up. We loved all of the nerdy magical stuff like Harry Potter (I got actual potion bottles for Christmas one year in an actual old wooden chest), and my mom did this same thing for all of the different occasions: Christmas, Easter, for the tooth fairy. She went ALL in.
My dad would tell us none of it was real. But he always got socks and underwear for Christmas, and my mom told us that’s what you get from Santa when you don’t believe in him. The evidence was all there that he was real, so we just laughed and rolled our eyes at our dad.
Which is why, in 5th grade, I still believed in Santa.
And in case you want to feel even more secondhand embarrassment, this means my sister was in 6th grade at the time and, yes, still believed (sorry sis, I’m outing you semi-anonymously).
So what did I say when my 5th grade teacher called on me and asked what I got for Christmas? Well, I told my entire class that Santa brought me a laptop. Because, well, he did. I guess. Sigh. Very long sigh.
Thanks, Mom and Dad. But mostly Mom.
Joking. Not about the story, but about the “thanks Mom.” I actually really appreciate how well she hid the truth from us. Like, we had no idea. For my sister’s 21st birthday, which is in October, we organized a surprise party bus for her and had everyone dress up as for Halloween as characters from her childhood. My mom got creative, big surprise, and dressed up as a Lie: a costume combination of Santa, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy. I’d post pictures (because it was seriously amazing) but I know she wouldn’t want me to. Sad face.
I’m grateful she gave me such good memories. It led to some traditions, which I won’t get into right now because I’m going to have a whole post dedicated to them. I’m glad I grew up believing in the seemingly impossible. I think I still do believe in the impossible sometimes (just not Santa). And in the future if/when I have kids of my own, I’m definitely going to go all out like my mom did. Because I think the holidays would’ve been extremely boring if we hadn’t believed.
I’ll just make sure my kids know the truth by middle school.