When she told me over the phone that she had written a new guest post, I thought that was awesome. She sent it to me in the mail with a couple of pictures, so I was excited when it came and opened it right away to read it... and after reading (and digesting for a moment), I decided almost immediately I needed to post a response, so here it is:
_____________________I had no idea that I didn't believe in Santa until I read Mom's blog post. Seriously! My brother was sitting across the room when I read it, and I looked at him confused. It went something like this...
Me: Did you remember that we grew up not believing in Santa and Mom telling us he was make-believe?
Brother: Kind of...
Me: Hmm... I didn't believe in Santa?
How is it possible I didn't know/realize this? So, I thought about it some more.
I don't really remember not believing in Santa.
On the other hand, I don't really remember believing in him, either.
I do remember seeing Santa at the community center and doing normal kid things... I told mom that we have a picture of a family friend holding me near Santa at one of these events and that I remember being told that I was scared and didn't want to sit on his lap. Perhaps because I thought he was make-believe and didn't want to sit on the strange man's lap? ... Well, that's plausible.
I also remember, as she said, that we did have our presents under the tree before Christmas. We usually opened one at home on Christmas eve and the rest on Christmas day.
But, "Santa" did put stuff in our stockings on Christmas eve... though sometimes he had forgotten until we said something to Mom on Christmas morning, so "he came back" and did it when we went upstairs to do something. Again, though, I don't remember ever really thinking it was Santa who did that. I do, however, remember joking about it... "Moooommm... Santa didn't fill our stockings, yet!" (snicker, snicker). I also remember that we were always very pleasant, not at all sarcastic children. (ha ha)
But I digress... back to the topic at hand....
The story about Grandma hearing Santa wasn't real and being so upset is not one I remember, so I'm guessing no one ever told me. I find this interesting that she questioned her faith over this, because Grandma was the most faithful person I've ever met. But, I do remember Mom having the focus of the holiday in mind, often saying "Jesus is the reason for the season."
I guess the bottom line here is: I hadn't really thought about it before, so apparently I didn't notice one way or another. None of the normal kid stuff seems to be missing from my memory, and Santa was still around at events, but he isn't a huge focus in my memories since I thought he was make-believe, anyway. And, I lived to tell the story, so I guess it didn't ruin me for life. :)
Based on the comments on Mom's post, a bunch of my cousins were told the same thing by their parents (mom's siblings) - and others were not. Grandma's experience sure had an impact on future generations, I guess! I wonder if the cousins remember this better than I do... and I wonder what their doing with their kids? Well, I guess we'll have something to talk about Christmas eve...
On the bright side, maybe this is why I don't have that traumatic memory so many others do when they hear for the first time that Santa may not be real.
Do you have that traumatic memory? What happened?
More follow-up to come on other points in Mom's post soon...