Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Santa’s Last Christmas

While I am kind of known as a “scrooge” type individual around the holidays, contrary to this belief, one of the great joys that I get, is watching the expressions on my daughter’s faces when it comes to the fat man in red.  From the anticipation of the season, to the race home from relatives on the night before Christmas, culminating in the ability to focus on what will be their favorite gift, the excitement is genuine.

I have countless memories of the last eight Christmas’s in particular.  During a visit with Santa, a newpaper reporter had taken a photograph of Emmalie stopping and staring at a white glove whose finger was pointed at her making sure that she was being a good girl.

Then there were the shrieks that came from the girls’ bedroom as they spotted Santa Claus jumping up and down on our diving board of our pool.

The girls were never disappointed to come downstairs and see that Santa had enjoyed the cookies and milk (although for some reason, some beer had gone missing from my refrigerator as well – it appears he like Molson Ice), and of course, the reindeer gobbled up all the baby carrots.

For the first several years, as a way to “prove” there was a Santa, Wendy had videotaped and took photos of the big man in the house.  The girls have never figured out how Santa never spotted Mommy.  The first Christmas was just Madison.  And the tradition of Santa visiting our house had begun.  Close to 2am when I knew Madison was truly asleep (fortunately she loves her sleep and is good at it), I put on the suit.  Upstairs I went with a gift in hand to put under her tree in her bedroom.  I gave her a small kiss on the forehead and headed back downstairs and played with our golden retriever for the camera.  Then I dug into the goodies.  Everything was caught on film.

So the next morning, Madison woke up all excited as Santa had left her a present under her little Christmas tree in her room.  She recalled him even giving her a kiss on her head.  We then went downstair and she screamed in delight when she saw all the snacks demolished with a thank you note from Santa and a footprint signature of Rudolph.  I then suggested to Madison that we check the cameras to see what might have been captured.

We are going through the photos and Madison cannot believe her eyes.  There he is.  Santa was in her house.  Then we hooked up the video camera to the TV.  Her mouth wide open, the camera showed Santa walking in all the areas of the house and even showed Pollo and he having a great time.  They were best pals, amazingly so.

For some reason, the camera zoomed out and now Santa’s full figure was in plain view.  Immediately something caught Madison’s eyes.  “Hey Daddy!  Ho Ho is wearing your sneakers!”  It seems that my carelessness that evening, feeling that at 2am that I did not need to worry about footware, which the costume definitely came with, was exposed.  Forget Santa.  Forget everything special that occurred that night.  Little Madison Marcos noticed that Santa had the same size shoe as me, and was wearing my sneakers.

“Well maybe Madison, Santa’s boots were too dirty from the chimney, and he took them off, and saw my sneakers by the fireplace and put them on to deliver your presents.”  Unsure of why she should believe me, she took my story and accepted it.

Santa has existed for eight years in our house.  This is probably going to be the last year because of a couple of jerks in her class who have decided to convince Madison that Santa is not real.

Of course, next year will be taught just exactly “what” Santa Clause really is and that he will exist forever in her heart because she is just like him.

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