Dear Santa

Here's the truth about me, I can't remember ever believing in Santa. Before all you believers out there prepare to throw marshmallows at me, hold on! I'm a huge believer in the spirit of Christmas and I do believe Santa is a super special part of the Christmas season. But for my childhood experience, he wasn't a pivotal part of the holiday. I can't remember writing letters to Santa--maybe I did (I definitely wrote letters to "Santa" as in my Aunt Stacey and my grandmother Mimi ;) ) Jeff, however, did believe in Santa as a child. We're not sure yet if we want Ash to believe in Santa or not. I don't really think it's a big deal either way, and if she wants to believe in Santa--that's okay with me. What I don't want is for the entire season of the holidays to be about one thing: getting presents. Even though it's maybe the funnest part and that's okay.

I love buying gifts and giving gifts and getting gifts. But when I think about Christmas as a child--I remember loving the season as a whole. I remember my mom making a big deal out of us watching Christmas movies together. She'd sit me and Sara in front of the TV with a tray of hot chocolate and marshmallows and we'd watch The Night They Saved Christmas. I can always remember my mom playing Christmas music around the house (specifically Amy Grant's Home for Christmas). We had a special Christmas calendar where Sara and I could mark the days as we got closer to Christmas. Some years my mom and dad took us to the Nutcracker ballet in Houston. There was always a Christmas pageant at church/school. My mom would make wassail (like apple cider) for us to drink and we'd wrap presents together. Decorating the house was special. We had a little Hallmark village set based on the movie Sarah, Plain and Tall and a beautiful Nativity set that Sara and I would set out.

Usually we'd drive to Lufkin to spend Christmas with my grandmother and great-grandmother and my aunt and uncles. This was always so fun. My grandmother had a beautiful big house perfect for playing in and a huge den where the Christmas tree and presents were stationed. Just being there at Mimi's with my mom and dad and Sara and the rest of our family was what made Christmas Christmas. To me, all those priceless memories are what Christmas is all about. There's nothing wrong with Santa. Truly, I love all the movies about Santa and all that fun stuff. But of course, the real magic of Christmas is the little baby in the manger. And isn't there something so beautiful about Christmas carols like Silent Night and Joy to the World? Christmastime is just something extraordinary. What about you? What makes Christmas special to you? Did you/ Do you believe in Santa?

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