The True Spirit of Santa Claus

Fourth grade is a crucial year. I would know because I taught it for 6 years. Every year in December I would create a math test to assess their knowledge of the concept we had just spent weeks learning. However, there was always one question, the last one, that I was most curious about on this December math test.

20) Is Santa Claus real?
O Yes
O No

The ones who answered “Yes” simply thought it was a gimmie. An easy question because it was Christmas time. They thought it was as question I put on there so I would have an even 20 questions instead of 19.

The ones who answered “No”, I knew it was time for a chat. So at lunch time, I would line up the students who answered “Yes” without them knowing why I lined them up specifically. I would send them off and I would talk to the rest. It would go something like this…

Raise your hand if you’re not sure if Santa is real or not. Hands around the room would go up and furtive looks would be passed to one another. Do you know I think Santa is real? In fact, I know he is. Think about what Santa does. He delivers presents to people around the world. How do those people feel waking up to gifts under their tree? Pretty amazing, right? Santa spreads joy and happiness. That right there is what the whole Christmas season is about, bringing joy to others. This is a time of year for family, friends, fun, and feeling festive. So really Santa is a person who represents all that. Kind of like the flag represents our country or a cross represents Christianity, Santa represents Christmas spirit. As long as you, as long as others continue to spread joy and happiness, Santa is very real. 

But let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas. This is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Heads would nod, faces would smile, and each of them understood what I meant. Then they’d go on their merry way to lunch and the subject would never be mentioned again.

I bring this up because just yesterday, Crash (who is in 4th grade now) was talking about a picture he colored of cookies and milk for Santa. It’s currently on the fridge and he says to me, “I want to tape it to the table we leave Santa’s cookies and milk on. But I think its you and mom who eat the cookies, drink the milk and buy the presents.”

I paniced. I tried to stay calm on the outside but my insides were screaming and crying on the floor like a full blown toddler tantrum in the candy aisle. My only response was, “I wouldn’t do that. They’re not my treats.” Nothing else was said.

I also bring this up because of a Facebook post that’s been making its rounds. It’s an amazing story of how a mom handled her son’s disbelief in Santa. If you haven’t read it yet, please go here. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Go ahead. I’ll be here when you come back.

See? Pretty awesome, right? Essentially, it’s what I told my 4th graders, Santa is the spirit of giving and all things happy. However, she took it a few steps further by allowing him to BE Santa.

I knew this day would come. I just didn’t think it would come this soon. I didn’t think it would be today.

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My Thankful Post

Once upon a time there was a family who celebrated Thanksgiving on a farm. So many family members attended that two tables were needed to sit everyone. There was so much food, two tables were need to hold it all. One of the seats was a church pew. There was much talking and laughter. There were bumping elbows and food stolen off plates. There was always one dish getting passed the wrong direction.  Through the years we ranged in age from newborn to grandparents.

After a hearty meal, the table cleared off and the dishes cleaned and put away, there would be football and parade watching on TV. They would doze in and out of tryptophan comas.

Well rested, the boys would gather in the front yard for some pigskin tossing and tackling. “Down 42! Blue! HUT HUT HUT!” Just like they were a Pittsburgh Steeler or a Dallas Cowboy. On warmer occasions, the girls would participate and it would become a family game of two hand touch .

Today, while the table remains, not as many gather around it this Thanksgiving. My grandfather, having passed away many years ago, no longer steals food from my mother. My brother and his family are now in South Korea. I and my family are now in Canada. My cousins are scattered up and down the east coast from Florida to Maryland. Some are travelling the world. There is no more football in the front yard.

The times have changed and nothing seems as it was in the “good old days”. Our gratitude, however, remains healthy and constant. Forever are we thankful for those days together. Thankful we could share a table with so much family, with so much love. Differences were set aside for a few hours of food and fun. Quarrels were ignored in the spirit of the holiday.

The newborns are now great grandchildren. Grandparents now outnumber children. Blessings outnumber worries. And we’ll celebrate American Thanksgiving here.

Happy Thanksgiving…

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The Daily Elf

December 20th

Today they are little pranksters. But the joke is on themselves. Elfis has trapped Woody!

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But not to be outdone… Or perhaps feeling a bit remorseful, Elfis then climbed in with Woody. Guess they’re looking for a way to keep warm on this cold, windy, snowy day.

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The Daily Elf

December 19

Well, it finally happened. The elves didn’t move last night. DW woke at 2am, used the bathroom and noticed the elves still in last night’s location. She put them on my dresser when she came back to bed.

At 7am, Crash enters our room and I hear “Dad. Will you come help me find the elves?”

Oops.

So when he goes to the basement, the elves moved to a new spot. They must have gotten thirsty on their trip back from the Pole last night.

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The Daily Elf

December 18th

If you’re looking for December 17, forget about it. I didn’t post it because… well because I was a slacker. Don’t worry you didn’t miss anything. One was perched on the star on top of the Christmas tree and the other on a wall sconce nearby. Nothing fancy.

Today is the boys last day of school before Christmas break. Two whole weeks home with mom and dad. We’re going to play a game called “Lose your sanity”. The first one to lose it has to pull their hair out.

Since it is the last day of school, the elves wanted to look their best. So they’ve made it a spa day. Here they are relaxing after their shower. Hope they don’t look at me arse while I’m on the shitter!

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The Daily Elf

December 13th

I know you all have been on the edge of your seats, anxious to see what the elves are up to today. Sorry, no mischief this time. Perhaps tomorrow morning. Rest easy, they’re just hanging out on bedroom doors today.

A little photoshop took place this morning. No their stockings do not say Crash and Bang on them. Duh 🙂  Though, they easily could.