Kate got to meet Santa at our church Christmas party. She was all business when she told him what she wanted for Christmas: a candy cane and presents. After she received her candy cane (which she remembered from last year), she left with us and then said, a few minutes later, "Santa forgot to give me presents!" We had to explain that the presents would come on Christmas.
Jayne isn't a big fan of strangers, and I knew Santa would be no exception. I let Kate have some solo Santa time first, then I apologized in advance to Santa and the photographer and plunked Jaynie on his lap.
Jayne's feeling of betrayal was immediate and complete. She did not whimper. She did not well up with pouty tears. My little girl full-on screamed, body rigid and trembling. She looked back, once, at Santa's bearded face, then leaned as far away from him as she could.
I rescued her after about ten seconds and felt a moderate amount of guilt until I remembered I did the same thing to Kate. I decided it's just a rite of passage.
A week or so before Christmas, we went to a local Orchard and took a hay ride. We made a dinner out of hotdogs, chili, cider, and doughnuts and went into a barn to see Santa.
This time, we spared Jayne the trauma of Santa's lap. Kate got her candy cane and informed Santa he forgot to bring her presents. We explained to Kate and the confused Santa that the gifts would be coming soon.
Jay asked me a couple days ago if I feel any guilt about telling the girls Santa brings their gifts when they believe us so implicitly. I don't. I love the magic and wonder of childhood--where Santa and microwave ovens and the change of seasons and any number of other things are equally mysterious and inexplicable. I love my girls, their excitement and their goodness, and that Kate feels our love in a host of ways, including through Santa, candy canes and presents.