December 2, 2009
I’ve been having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit. Our tree is up, but is not decorated. We still have pumpkins on the front porch. I haven’t bought even the first Christmas present.
But today, Christmas came to us. My friend, Pat, had sent me an email several days ago saying a surprise would be delivered to us one morning this week. This morning, I got a call from a man saying he had a special delivery and would be to our house shortly. I told Tanner there was a surprise on the way and she and Jake were glued to the front windows asking me every 2 minutes when the surprise would be there.
Within 10 minutes, a black pick-up truck pulled up to the house with a special driver… Santa Claus was behind the wheel!
I yelled to Tanner, “It’s Santa in the truck!” Tanner and Jake began screaming and we opened the door to watch him as he came up the walk in the drizzle and brought us our sopping newspaper out of the yard. I think I was every bit as excited as the kids.
We invited Santa in and he hugged Tanner and then picked her up and carried her to the couch where they began talking about what she wanted for Christmas. Jake was a little leary at first, but warmed up pretty quickly and I was able to take pictures of them both on Santa’s lap after Jake told him he wanted a motorcycle and Tanner told him she wanted an American Girl doll.
We spent about 10 or 15 minutes with Santa before he had to go tend to important seasonal business. He hugged Jake and Tanner and told him he loved them. Then, he turned and hugged me. I felt the Santa magic… really. As we embraced, I whispered in his ear, “You have no idea what this means to us. I never dreamed we would be able to take this picture or that she would be able to sit on your lap this year.” Santa pulled back and held me by the shoulders and said, “That’s why I came; because I knew you couldn’t come to me.”
I cried, of course. And, Tanner got embarrassed and told me to go away if I was going to cry! We stood on the porch waving and yelling, “Merry Christmas, Santa!” as he drove away.
Just days before, Tanner had asked me when we were going to sit on Santa’s lap. I hesitated, trying to find a gentle way to prepare her for the fact that we probably weren’t going to get to sit on Santa’s lap due to the crowds. I started by saying, “We’ll have to ask Dr. Mixan about that,” but I didn’t have to finish. She already knew. She paused a moment and then said, “I have an idea, Mom. You take Jake to sit on Santa’s lap and he can give Santa my list.” She wasn’t overly upset about it; and that’s what broke my heart. She didn’t even expect to be able to sit on Santa’s lap this year. It was like she knew already that this kind of thing just wasn’t going to happen for her.
I don’t have to open any of my presents this Christmas to know that this will be my favorite Christmas gift. Christmas came to our house. Not on a snowy night in a sled pulled by reindeer, but in a black pick-up truck in the rain.
I could assume that my friend Pat told Santa we needed a personal visit this year. But, I prefer to think that Santa already knew and just asked Pat to call us to let us know he was coming. Either way, it was magic.