No longer does the mystery and magic of Santa loom large over our holidays. We’ve reached the point where even our youngest is well aware that Santa lives in the hearts of parents, in the dreams of adults to see children wake up on Christmas morning and wonder what Santa has left for him. I’ve enjoyed years and years of lying to my children. Only lying in the sense that Santa was a man from the North Pole…. as Trisha and I have cherished each and every moment of staying up late on Christmas eve, putting together elaborate doll houses, bicycles and countless other items. We’ve enjoyed being the only two up as we ate the cookies and drank the milk. We’ve giggled with one another as we stuffed candy and other small items into our kids’ stockings. That part of Christmas may have changed, but I still plan on staying up with her tonight to keep our time together. To keep a tradition of enjoying her company as we revel in the fact that we’ve some how made it through another year. To keep alive the tradition of giggling like little kids as we anticipate the joy on Conner’s, Erin’s, Amelia’s and Ian’s faces in the morning.
One other tradition we kept alive is our Santa Letter Send Off Party. Some of our closest and dearest friends, the Carter family, came over last weekend with a van full of helium balloons. By the time they arrived ours had been in my office for a small period of time, being kept warm by the heat from our fireplace, our letter was ready to go. All eleven of us, kids and parents, walked out into the openness of the field behind our house and set the balloons free. This year they went straight up. No wind. We watched them for what seemed to be an eternity, but was more like five minutes. Finally they caught a slight breeze,,, hundreds or thousands of feet in the air and we slowly watched them make their way to the southeast…. then they were no longer in sight.
In past years a few of our letters have been found in Alabama, Indiana, Illinois… and one made it as far as the barbed-wire fence a few hundred yards from our house. It’s always incredible when we get the letter back from some kind person. In 2006 our letter made it here… Santa Lives In Paris.
Regardless of what you celebrate…. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice or Festivus, I want to wish you a great time with those you love,,, and those who love you. Tomorrow my family will celebrate Christmas and the greatest gift I’ll receive is the love of my family.
Here are a few photographs from our letter release.