I’m sure we have all experienced an epiphany in our lifetime. I like to call epiphanies “aha” moments or a moment when you figure something out and it changes your life and the way you view things. I’m sure I have had a lot of epiphanies in my twenty-nine years such as finding my fingers and toes as a baby or learning how to ride a bike, but the epiphany I remember the most happened when I was eight years old. It was Christmas Eve my whole family was over for our annual Christmas party. We had a huge dinner. Everyone was full and we were sitting around the Christmas tree opening gifts.
We went from youngest to oldest when opening our presents. It made it more fun so that everyone knew what everyone else got. After doing gifts we had dessert and then we started cleaning up. My family had left and I was so excited for Santa Clause to come. I always knew Santa didn’t come until I was sleeping. I went upstairs, took a bath, brushed my teeth, and brushed my hair as fast as I could and then pulled my blankets down and hopped into bed. I had only been asleep about thirty minutes when I heard noise downstairs.
I was so excited thinking it was Santa Clause that I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs. When I got down there I saw my parents wrapping presents and putting them under the tree. I sat on the steps and watched for awhile and then decided that I needed to find out what was going on, and why my parents were doing what I thought Santa Clause was supposed to do. I needed to get to the bottom of this. I walked the rest of the way down the steps and walked over to my parents who were panicking and trying to hide all of my gifts so that I wouldn’t see them.
I asked them what was going on and they started to explain. They began to tell me that Santa Clause was in a hurry and he didn’t have time to wrap presents and put them under the tree this year, that he was running behind and that he needed my parents to help him. That was a good enough explanation for me, kind of. So I decided I believed them and went back to bed. That was the beginning of my suspicions that something was going on and my parents weren’t telling me everything. The next morning I think I woke up before the sun came up.
I went into my parent’s room and woke them up so we could go downstairs and open presents. They decided to torture me a little bit and they made me eat breakfast before opening presents. Once breakfast was over I ran in tot he tree and started ripping them open. I was so excited, I remember I got the leather jacket I had been wanting and the vanity table with a mirror that I had asked Santa Clause for. I immediately wanted to take my vanity upstairs so I could use my play makeup and do my hair before we went to my grandmas.
On our way to Grandma’s I decided that I was going to talk to some of my older cousins about Santa Clause and about what I had seen the previous night. Grandma’s house is always a lot of fun. I get to see my Mom’s side of the family where as the night before was my Dad’s family. I have more cousins my age on my mom’s side. As soon as I arrived I went down to the basement which is where the kids hang out. I got everyone together and asked if they believed in Santa Clause. They all said “yes”. I guess at the time they were afraid of getting in trouble for telling me the truth.
My last resort was grandma! I knew she wouldn’t lie to me. She didn’t lie; she told me there was no Santa Clause. I was crushed. I put my coat on and went out to the back porch to be by myself. Then it dawned on me; they must all be fictional characters then. There was no man with a red suit, sled, and reindeer that delivered presents to the whole world in one night. There was no big fuzzy bunny that hid my basket on Easter, and there was no little fairy that came through my bedroom window to collect teeth and leave money.
This realization totally changed holidays for me. I love seeing my family on holidays but the fantasy and child like excitement was gone. Now that I am a mother of two beautiful children, I get to relive the excitement through them. I love seeing their faces Christmas morning when they see that “Santa” has come. I have always told them that you have to believe to receive. My oldest is nine and I am dreading the day when I hear the question “ Is Santa Clause real”?