Our son was around 8 years old. And he was just starting to question if there was really a Santa Claus.
The rumours in the schoolyard were starting to gain traction : “There’s no such thing as Santa. Don’t be such a dolt.”
(Our family believes in Santa of course but peer pressure can be strong at any age and our boy was questioning.)
We,as parents, wanted our children to have a lovely Christmas. With four children and only one income we didn’t have a ton of money but we had buckets of love to give and we asked all of the children to make a list of what they might want for Christmas. We would make sure to put these in the mail for Santa . The children all knew that they might receive one special thing on their list from Santa Claus. We loved that our whole family believed in the kindness of Santa and we didn’t ever want our children to lose this magic of spirit.
I was a ‘stay at home mom’ and one of my weekly enjoyable routines was to take the children to the library to pick out a few books . One day, fairly close to Christmas, we made a trip to our local library and the children scattered to find a few reading treasures. At one point I just happened to be standing on the other side of the same bookshelf as my son. Before I could announce my presence I heard him whisper these words : “O.K. Santa, if you’re real then what I really want for Christmas is a leather jacket.” A LEATHER JACKET ?!!! Oh my. I’m not sure that Santa could handle a gift this big but I was glad I had overheard the wish .
I told my husband and we really hoped that Santa could come through for our son. But it was close to Christmas and did the elves even make leather jackets?
We have a second hand store that I love to frequent in our city and it’s called Value Village. We call it ‘V.V.’.One day, shortly after the library visit, I popped into the store to look for some clothing for my growing gang of two girls and two boys and what did I see but a small, ‘pleather’, black jacket that looked like it would actually fit our doubting boy! I decided I would become ‘Santa’s helper’.
Fast forward to Christmas morning. We are still in our ‘jammies’, gathered in a circle- some on the rug, some on chairs, but all cozy near the Christmas tree. Christmas music is playing in the background and we are enjoying watching each other open our gifts one at a time. Finally, our middle son gets handed a fairly large box …from Santa Claus. I am so excited to see his reaction that I am practically vibrating with anticipation. And then our little boy pulls off the paper, slowly opens the lid, and his eyes form large circles under his raised brows. He reverently lifts up the jacket, stands up with tears in his eyes and in a loud stage whisper he proclaims, “I BELIEVE! I DO BELIEVE IN YOU, SANTA CLAUS”.
The coat fit perfectly. And it was the start of another year of magic.