Christmas Blog Party: The End of Childhood Edition

I don't remember when I stopped believing in Santa Claus. I don't remember the putting together the facts that just didn't add up - the fat man, the skinny chimney, the flying mammals that weren't bats, and the way that Santa's favorite cookies, which I left on the mantel, just happened to be the same as Dad's. 

What I do vividly remember, though, is the way my mom's face looked when I told her I knew Santa wasn't real. We were taking an early-December walk through my neighborhood, looking at all the Christmas lights, when I dropped the big news of my knowledge. I think, ever-practical child that I was, I didn't want my mother to go out of her way to go through the Santa motions needlessly. When I told her, she dropped down to her knee, put her hands on my shoulders, and just stared at me with the saddest look in her eyes.

I don't have brothers or sisters, and it was clearly a look that feared this was the beginning of the end of my childhood, her only baby's childhood. Looking back, I know that Christmas died a little bit for my mother that day. Although we've carried on our many holiday traditions through the years, they are just a little bit deflated without a need for the Christmas play that parents put on each year. 

This year, for the very first time, I have a full-sized Christmas tree in my very own house. I've hung stockings above my fireplace. I might even buy some of those poinsettias everyone loves so much. But I know, when the time comes and I have children of my own, I'll be bundling them into the car and driving down I-95 to my mother's house each Christmas. I'd love for her to have the joy of playing Santa again, and for all that she's done for me, it's the least I can do. 

Sarah is a DC blogger writing about her training, triathlons, and pup Cooper at Was It For This. She has been blessing Danielle with her kind words since last year.
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