The rain will probably fall. The tea kettle will be whistling and it will be 6 am. and your eyes will be full of dust because you went to bed at 5. You were up wrapping presents and writing tags that give credit to someone else for giving them.
And your little girl or little boy will be standing in front of the tree gripping your finger and stammering.
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“Santa came. Just like you said, Mommy.”
The dewy-eyed little one woke you five minutes earlier after going into the living room and discovering against all odds that Santa had really come. The little feet ran back to your bedroom because this news was the greatest thing that had ever happened in the entire history of the world.
“Wake up, wake up, Mommy, Santa came. Daddy, Daddy. Santa came.”
This was something you had to see. It could not wait until 7 or 8 a.m. Those were times for the rest of the year when the day came like it always comes and getting up was an intrusion to a dream. But not today. Today was Christmas and Santa had come and, “Mommy he left a pile of presents, just like you said.”
And with the small fingers wrapped around your finger you are lead to this discovery. You step into the room with the tree and there are gifts that were not there the night before.
You say, “Santa did come. Child, you are right. Check the hot chocolate and see if he drank it.”
And the little eyes look into the cup left by the tree.
“Mommy, he drank it! And he ate the cookies, and look, the carrots left for the reindeer and gone. Mommy. He came!”
It is a moment of joy, pure with no disbelief. Santa came.
It may never happen again, at least not like this. But it almost always happens at least once.
The presents are not nearly as important as this moment. The discovery that Santa did really come, just like you said he would, gives the gift of belief that will be remembered by both the giver and the receiver for the rest of time.
“Santa came, just like you said, Mommy.”
Tragedies will come, as they always do. The presents inside the boxes will be forgotten. The toys will break. The lives will break, although we pray the lives will have a chance to fade before they end.
But for one moment in each child’s life they will shake you out of your dream, and whisper into your ear, “Mommy, Mommy, Santa came, Mommy. Just like you said. Santa did come. Come and look.”
Add religion. Take away religion. The gift is in the reality that the unbelievable happens.
Merry Christmas. Mike