Here's where I start to question my decision to do the Santa thing with the boys. When Evan was little, it was really done without much thought on my part; I wanted him to experience the magic of Christmas as I did. I *never* told him that he had to be good, though - how f'ed up is THAT whole thing? You must behave according to someone else's predefined measurements, or - no toys. I told him people who believed that were mistaken, when we'd watch those Christmas specials.
In doing that, I'm sure I got Santa and Jesus mixed up in there somehow, with unconditional love and all that. Better a Jesus Santa than a Falwell Santa. Anyway...
So, through the years, I've deepened my look into perpetuating the myth, and I did decide I liked the magic of it, and sharing that magic with the boys. I tell people I still believe in Santa, and it's because I do believe in giving, I do believe magic can happen. I remember the transition year for Evan - he still wrote Santa a letter, still fretted Santa might not get it because the letter was at his Dad's - but he also bought Seth a gift and put it under the tree "from Santa". He totally gets it, and now, at 15, he loves helping his brother experience the magic still.
And we HAVE experienced magic. And the help of friends. Last year, Evan really wanted an iPod. I didn't even tell anyone, it was just something disappointing I carried with me. I knew I couldn't afford it, and didn't see how it would be possible. My minister loaned me some money so I could get a couple video games and books for the boys - I had a teaching job starting in January, so I knew I'd be able to pay him back. And I was OK with everything - no, it wouldn't be some massive production, but I had some nice things for the boys and my family. I was at peace... mostly. I was talking with a friend about it, and I told her all that, but I was disappointed I couldn't get the iPod for Evan. She said, "Oh! We have one here we don't use. Let me check with Casey and see if he's OK with sending it to you." She did, and he was, and a few days before Christmas, there it was in my mailbox. So, there it was, under the tree "from Santa".
There are other stories... not at Christmastime, but Seth wanted Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and we were at a place that we really couldn't pull together the $20 for a set. I had just started researching where we might find some another way, and I saw a friend had offered her sons' Yu-Gi-Oh cards (that they were finished with) on FreeCycle. I "just happened" to check the FreeCycle e-mails right after she posted them, after not having read at that site in weeks. A few days later, Seth got 200 Yu-Gi-Oh cards in the mail.
I believe in keeping a positive outlook. I believe magic can happen. But a Wii? They're not even in stores right now. And how to tell Seth? Should I tell him? We had a conversation, and I said I wasn't sure Santa had enough Wiis for everyone, but he's resolute in his belief that one will be under the Christmas tree.
I do know I can tell him, even if Santa doesn't bring it, that we will, one day, have a Wii. That we can look at ways to get one. And I know he'll trust that, because we do find ways to support what he wants, big or small.
I'm trying not to beat myself up about not planning ahead and buying a Wii earlier in the year and hiding it, or not getting a third job to pay for the overblown prices now. There is a part of me that knows, it's all perfection, it's all OK. Which is being drowned out right now by the beating-myself-up part. I know it's not helpful. How far should I go back? To this summer, when Wiis were plentiful? To a few months ago, when we decided another job wasn't worth the money it might bring? To 15 years ago, when I first introduced Santa to Evan? To four years ago, when my ex and I chose to separate? When should the beatings begin?
OK - as I frequently tell others... breathe. Breathe. Breathe. OK - I do *not* have to place all importance on that one day, Christmas day. Yes, Seth will be disappointed if there's not a Wii under the tree. But not devastated. He has a lot of love and support around him. And he knows we will find a way to get one. Breathe again. I could even put a note under the tree from Santa.
I can choose to focus on how we WILL be experiencing magic this Christmas, on making cards for friends, on seeing how we might be able to give, on gratitude for having each other, and for the real abundance in our lives. I can, as Abraham-Hicks teaches, find the better-feeling thought. And stay there, rather than mired in disappointment. There IS magic, even if it's not Wii magic. Let's enjoy what we do have. We're going out today so the boys can get gifts for each other and their Dads. We're putting lights up, and this very cute snowman family I've had for years. Oh! And there's Jingle Bell Rock Santa! Can't forget him! He's the first thing the boys want to put out. (Didn't realize until I found the link that he's a collectible! Not that that matters. Seth just likes that Santa has a real butt that wiggles. He knows, 'cause he's disrobed Santa to check.) And tomorrow, we're making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, because according to Evan, it's not Christmastime without them. WE are Christmastime. Our family, and our amazing, magical life. I can keep Christmas in my heart, as Mr. Scrooge taught.
OK, phew. It really is OK.