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    Santa’s Surprise

    “The secret to humour is surprise.”


    I like holiday traditions.  I particularly relish this process of creating new traditions with my own little family based on my husband’s and my past experiences, and the dreams we share for our daughters.  Some traditions are incredibly meaningful, some are magical, and some are just plain fun.

    As a child, nothing could match the anticipation I felt Christmas morning as I entered the living room with my brother and sister to see what Santa had left for us.  I felt the same thrill, three decades later, as I anticipated my daughters’ excitement upon meeting their gifts from Mr. Claus.  This year, Pip and Fig both asked Santa for rocking horses.  Pip wanted a purple horse, and she asked if Santa could get a green horse for Fig.

    Christmas Eve arrived and I felt giddy as my husband and I played the part of Santa’s elves.  Once the stockings were stuffed, the cookies and carrots were consumed, and the egg-nog was gone, it was time to retrieve Princess and Thunder.  Now, in my home, Santa didn’t wrap his gifts.  It made sense; he was far too busy, and his elves had their work cut out for them making the toys.  (Perhaps he was just way ahead of his time and was too environmentally aware to waste paper on wrapping.)  As a child, I found it thrilling to see Santa’s presents exposed under the tree  on Christmas morning.  Then again, I didn’t know any different.  Nevertheless, my husband and I had no problem agreeing NOT to wrap gifts from Santa, but we worried that Pip might awaken in the night and find the horses, so we threw a blanket over top of them.

    Before we went to bed, I strategically placed two cameras in the living room; Big Daddy-O was in charge of video, and I would grab the camera on the couch for still photos.  I had made sure that both cameras were fully charged and ready to roll.  I could just imagine the images we were going to capture during those precious first few moments of Christmas; the blanket being pulled off to reveal the horses, Pip and Fig’s faces full of joy and excitement…I could hardly wait.

    The next morning, Fig woke up early and my husband was the first one upstairs to get her.  She was crying and wanted to be nursed, so I thought I’d go upstairs to help quiet her down so that she didn’t awaken Pip.  So there we were: my husband, Fig and I upstairs, when we heard Pip’s door open down on the main floor.  As we hurried downstairs and rounded the corner into the living-room, we saw Pip proudly riding her new rocking horse.  “He came, Mama!  He came!”  What a surprise.



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