Wednesday, December 21, 2016
On the Eighth Day of a Feminine Christmas
I believed in Santa Claus until about age eight when my older brother finally pulled the wool off my eyes. But it was time. I was beginning to suspect that it was my mother who was the real Santa at our house especially when I found her shopping list peaking out of her handbag one day.
My mother's Christmas lists were legendary...she made sure that we four received the same amount of presents so each item on the list had a number beside it. And somehow she knew whose wrapped present was whose. That was a secret I later learned about too...at the lower right hand corner of each box was a letter that she assigned to each of us. The code for the letters was on her funny shopping list. Elaborate but it worked.
My mother still plays Santa at our Christmas but no longer uses her secret system - she uses gift tags. But those are elaborate too and often have small glittered flowers and bows attached to them. They're pretty enough to hang on the tree the following year if they don't get scooped up in the detritus left behind from all the unwrapping. Her gifts are fewer in volume but they are endearing and very thoughtful.
When it's over, I see everyone kissing Santa Claus.
Some of my mother's wrapped gifts, circa 1964.