For the first three years of Jonah’s life, my sweetie and I debated whether or not to allow Jonah to believe in Santa Clause. We didn’t really fight about it, we just couldn’t agree…and so we discussed it every year, couldn’t decide, gave up the issue and re-visited it the next year. Finally, when Jonah turned three, we knew that we had to make a decision one way or the other, and Santa Clause won.
So, as the holidays approached, we started introducing the idea of Santa Clause. Which actually came in very handy when a certain little boy was not exercising his best behavior…
Well, that year, we spent Christmas with my parents. On Christmas Eve, with Jonah in his footie jammies, we made some fresh cookies, placed several of them on a small plate (along with a few carrots for the reindeer) and put the plate, along with a cup of egg nog, in the living room for Santa.
My parents living room is set up so that there is an upright piano against the wall across from the tree. So, we decided that the best spot for the cookies and milk was on the piano bench. Right before bedtime, we pulled the bench out from the piano and arranged everything nicely for Santa. Then, Jonah was put to bed with a story, a prayer, and the reminder that Santa would not come until he had gone to sleep!
Now, it’s important to realize, before I continue, that Jonah was still very short (being barely three years old), and so he could just barely see over the edge of the bench if he stood on his tiptoes.
Next morning, the adults woke up shortly before Jonah and were all ready with the camera when he opened his eyes and remembered that it was Christmas morning. He hurried down the stairs and as we were all posed to catch that first picture of him, awe-struck, staring at the collection of brightly-colored gifts under the tree, he instead made a bee-line directly for the piano bench where he popped up on his tip-toes and stretched his little fingers onto the plate. He pulled the plate down, and, when he realized that the cookies were all gone, burst into tears!!
Santa had eaten ALL the cookies and hadn’t left any for him!!
How were we to know the cookies for Santa would be more important than the stocking and the gifts? And being new to the whole Santa thing, how were we to realize that Santa was only supposed to nibble the cookies, leaving some behind for destraught little boys!
Well, we cuddled Jonah and reminded him that since we had baked the cookies ourselves, there were still plenty left in the kitchen. That helped to calm him down and we soon continued the morning with reading the Christmas story from Luke and enjoying opening presents together.
All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas. And the next year, Santa was very careful to only nibble the cookies!