Christmas Eve is a very special day in our family. We enjoy waking up and tracking Santa’s travels across the world via the NORAD Santa Tracker app on our phones and iPads. Over the past couple of years, we’ve also been fortunate to talk with live NORAD folks by calling 1-877-HI-NORAD. The kids enjoy speaking with the live operators and finding out when Santa will be coming to our local area.
After our evening celebrations with my family, the kids put together their tray of cookies for Santa and leave special notes with their various questions. And each year, after the kids go to bed, their Daddy & I sneak down and read their letters, too, while sitting by the tree.
Our girl left a multi-page note and a few gifts for Santa this year:
And while we await the arrival of the “big guy,” my husband and I also enjoy a few other holiday traditions which include watching the “Yule Log” burn on TV…..
And, watching Midnight Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. While we aren’t Catholic, I have always enjoyed the pomp and circumstance of watching the ornate service at the Vatican. There is something precious about watching the Pope welcome Christmas at midnight through this special tradition.
After Mass, we may have snuck downstairs to see if NORAD had given the kids some accurate reports of Santa’s arrival and we found the following scene which is always magical….
And here are the special letters that were left behind. First, the letter for our boy….
December 25, 2016
My friends at NORAD tell me that you have been VERY EXCITED for Christmas. I have been busy today, delivering lots of toys to kids all around the world.
You did a great job this year reaching your goal to help kids in Africa. I brought you some coins to help towards next year’s goal. Keep up your good work. With every penny, you are sharing your giving spirit with others. It’s like being Santa all the time.
I know you were hoping for a gummy bear machine this year, but I didn’t want to make your mom have to clean up the sticky mess that those machines make. I think I found something better for you because I heard you like to make movies.
Thank you for the chocolate and yummy cookies. I took a few with me to share with Rudolph. Be good to your sister, your parents and everyone you see.
And then the letter for our girl:
Thank you, dear girl, for the first typed letter. Your writing skills continue to improve each and every year. Visiting your house is always one of my favorite places to stop on Christmas Eve.
I was so surprised to not only see the fun milk and cookies, but also your thoughtful gifts. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of room on my sleigh to take them home, so can I ask you a favor? Can you give this special mug and globe to someone who needs their spirit lifted? It is important to remember that for some people, Christmas is a hard time of year. So, I hope that you can keep an eye out for your friends who may just need an extra hug or smile.
As for wormholes and technology, I found that “truth about Santa” book to be pretty interesting. Since few people have seen my operation, there is a lot of speculation about how it all takes place. It is really more simple than Mr. Mone explains in this book. But thanks for sharing this with me. My belly shook at some of his theories.
I’m glad the SoniCare toothbrush helped you with your braces. Keep brushing those teeth. Next year, I will bet you will be excited to get those off of your teeth.
You asked about why I don’t give gifts to your parents. This is a great question, but there is a very important reason as to why. You see, I focus on the children because they are still learning about the spirit of Christmas. Just as my friends & I brought gifts to Jesus on that first Christmas night, I bring gifts to kids to teach them the importance of generosity in their lives. As kids grow up into adults, it is my prayer that the adults will be generous to each other whenever they can be. So, instead of needing Santa, your parents have many friends who bless them in lots of little and big ways. As you grow older, you will help bring the spirit of generosity to special people in your life. The nice gifts you left me tonight illustrate that you are well on your way to being such a thoughtful young lady.
p.s. Your room is still bordering on my “naughty list”…….but I decided I wouldn’t look behind your bed, as your mom instructed.
And, as we woke up on Christmas morning, we learned that our special daughter had gotten up at 4:00 a.m. to fill our stockings and to make breakfast for us all as a family. She made a wonderful meal of eggs, bacon, waffles and even our favorite energy drinks. It was special to see her bless all of us on Christmas morning in her own unique way.
There are often moments in parenting where we feel we are making mistakes and wondering how each decision we make will affect our kids later in their lives. But as we sipped our coffee on this Christmas morning, we were blessed to see our kids living out our family values of love, generosity, service and kindness while giving thanks to Jesus for being the real reason we celebrate Christmas.