Another Christmas Eve

As I am in the process of tying up any loose ends this Christmas eve, I find myself thinking about Christmas eve last year, and the year before, and the year before that, to the point that I have now whipped out the photo album and I am looking at photo memories from Christmas past. I notice the obvious right away with the expected “holy crap” the kids have grown, and the obligatory “I cant possibly have looked that young”, but what has really amazed me while gazing upon these frozen moments in time is the fact that they are coming to an end. Now I don’t mean Christmas is coming to an end, or my life is coming to an end I mean quite simply, the days of Santa are fleeting, the days of all my kids still living at home are winding down. My job as a parent is coming closer to full circle with my oldest. Then in the blink of an eye it will be the next child and so on and so on..
Parenting has its privileges!
One of the biggest privileges known to every mom and dad is the role of Santa Claus! The first year is really scary as you hope and pray they don’t catch you in the act. The next year is a little less stressful as you slowly develop your own style and develop certain techniques. Every year after that just gets better and better until you feel as though with the wink of an eye and the twitch of a nose you could rain presents upon the tree and be gone in a flash with nothing more than a cookie crumb left swirling on the floor.
But life is always changing. Before you know it, one heads off to college, then two, then four, and the house is empty. There is no one left to play Santa for(yes even though the older ones know the truth they still love to play along). What the heck! You are at the top of your game, in the big leagues, and now the coach cant even call you up. Its back to riding the pine for you big boy! Skills or not this has all accumulated to you not being needed anymore. The house is empty, no more giggling, no more running off to bed because Santa Tracker says Santa is in Chicago! No sneaking, prying little eyes laying in the shadows of the hallway. Its all over. Done! You find yourself all alone watching “A Christmas Story” sulking. Suddenly all the struggling and frustration that often accompanied the holidays doesn’t seem like it was that big of a deal after all.. All the times the kids got on your last nerve, pestering and bugging you, fighting over really stupid stuff, makes you realize you would give anything to have that time back. Yeah that moment in time. Just once more…
Like I said parenting is a true privilege! Christmas Eve is a fantastic moment in the life of any parent. One that we hold in our minds and relive over and over again. Its pure, its true love for your kids, its joy, its one of the few times you get to be a super hero, and when your kids faces light up on Christmas morning at the sight that beholds them you wink your eye, and twitch you nose, then lock away another memory. You are only Santa for a little while and I thank god for every chance I get to be him, for someday my kids will experience the same emotions, the same feelings, they will accept this fantastic gift that has been given them and hopefully they will sit back and remember all the fun they had and smile at the thought of their father playing Santa on just another Christmas Eve….

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