We haven’t left cookies for him in a few years. I don’t remember which year it was exactly, they all start to get foggy.
I remember staying up on Christmas Eve waiting for him with my sister. The two of us would dress up in our footsie pajamas and hide out in the basement watching holiday specials and drinking hot chocolate. She would always snooze off before me, but I was determined to meet him.
There was one year where I thought I had him. It was the latest I had ever stayed up, probably around five or six in the morning. I heard something upstairs and I knew it was him, but something bolted me in place. I couldn’t move. There were bells next, and they were the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. Slowly but surely, I was dozing off.
I woke up the next morning upset that I had allowed myself to sleep. I had never been so close, or so bewildered.
Since then I believed in the jolly old man more than I had in my entire life. My sister has long given up hope, but my father never spoiled the magic for us.
I never wanted to know the truth, I wanted to keep the magic until it was time to pass it on. This year was different. This year I found the presents labeled with his name sitting in a shopping bag behind the washing machine in the garage.
And just like that, the magic was gone.
I guess I’ve known for a while, however my reasoning was bigger than believing fairy tales. I’m just not ready to except adulthood. I turn twenty this coming year… and It scares me that I’m not Daddy’s little girl anymore. I have no more time to slack off and I’m about to be part of a world that is not my friend.
I love my father for keeping the magic almost twenty years. I love that my inner child still gets the best of me on the worst of days. I don’t even care that I can hear him going downstairs to get the presents as I write this post.
I’m just happy that he still goes through the trouble to keep the magic alive, to keep us feeling young and to keep us believing in what makes us smile.