Santa is here!
by Maude Goyer, alias Maman 24/7
“He’s there! I can see him!” I’m sold. I fully believe everything my mom is saying. It’s December 24 and I’m staying at my aunt’s house, in the country. Along with my cousins, I run up to the frost-covered window and tap on it. The last thing I want is for Santa Claus to forget about me!
I remember the traces left by our (probably dirty) hands on the polished glass like it was yesterday. We’d made a sizable mess of Aunt Danièle’s dining room window. I remember feeling a pang of guilt after seeing this childish display. It was messy, sure, but also filled with our hopes and admiration for Santa.
“I saw a red light,” swore Sebastien.
“I heard a noise coming from the roof,” insisted Julie.
It was true. Santa Claus was here for us!
A few seconds later, I couldn’t notice my dad’s moustache under his big white beard – I was blown away by the presence of my idol! I was also struck by the sheer size of his huge, bright red bag. There were over twelve of us, every cousin more excited and impatient than the next, all buzzing and gathering around Santa.
In my mind, we unwrapped gifts for hours, but in reality, we each had two or three presents, nothing excessive. We all reveled in each other discovering their gifts; our shared joy made it seem like the gifts just kept on coming.
The parties were festive and neverending, a constant stream of jigs, glasses of Pepsi, group games, long conversations, card games and stale chips. I would inevitably end up lying down next to my mother, exhausted, precariously asleep on two chairs stacked on top of one another.
Christmas was over.
In fact, no... It was just getting started!
The Christmas spirit had just been implanted in me –and it was there to stay! Ever since becoming a mother, my Christmas memories have become clearer, more tangible. In a way, aren’t we always looking for these Christmases of yore? Are we just nostalgic for the past? Are we trying to recreate a feeling, a sensation, a memory? Or is that simply what we call “tradition”…
Beyond buying gifts, getting everything ready, compiling to-do lists and dealing with the chaos of December, Christmas is about the joy of getting together to eat, have fun, talk, catch up… It’s a happy, inclusive and food-centered tradition that gets passed on from one generation to the next.
Putting together the tree. Making delicious meals. Dressing up. Exchanging wishes. Hosting and visiting relatives. And, of course, keeping the Christmas magic alive.
“Did you see him, mommy?” asks my daughter, eyes lit up, mouth wide open, with her head behind the curtain.
Of course I saw him. A streak of lights in the sky, just like shooting stars… Santa Claus is here.
Journalist Maude Goyer has always been interested by the various matters surrounding family and motherhood. Freelancer for many magazines (Coup de Pouce, Vero, Planet F, Chatelaine, Enfants Quebec, etc.), radio and tv shows, her Facebook page reaches a committed community. She is also - and above all! – the mom of two children aged 8 and 11 years old.