My great-nephew is 10 years old. I expect this is his last year of believing in Father Christmas. No doubt he’ll return to school on Jan. 3 saying, “Santa Claus brought me a Kinect and two of the ‘Heroes of Olympus” books!’ and some cynical fifth-grader will reply, “Dude, your mom bought those gifts.”
This year, though, he still believes. Witness the note he left on the kitchen table.
Yeah, he needs to work on his spelling. It’s still damn cute.
We had orange rolls and bacon for breakfast, and cookies for dessert — yep, you get dessert at breakfast on Christmas — and wonder of wonders, Malachi didn’t wake up at the crack of dawn. I know because I was sleeping in the bunk below. At 8:45 a.m. I heard him climb out of bed and start down the hallway — and then I heard his mom give her, “Not so fast, buddy” whistle through her bedroom’s open door. The night before she’d said “Not until 9 o’clock” and she meant it.
He and his 5-year-old brother were beside themselves with joy no matter what they opened. Shirts were exciting. “Star Wars” sheets were fabulous. Even socks were thrilling — but then again, they were “Phineas & Ferb” socks. Who wouldn’t plotz over those?
Christmas is always more fun when little kids are involved. I was visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future, i.e., the fact that my daughter is busily knitting my first grandchild. That enjoyment won’t really kick in for a few years, though. Next year the li’l spud will be only about four months old. Christmas 2013, still only 16 months old — excited about the lights and thrilled to tear paper off packages, but not yet digging the backstory.
Christmas 2014 and thereafter will be the sweet spot: when the tyke is old enough to understand the idea of Santa and not so old as to be blase about the whole thing. Somewhere between, oh, 3 and my age.
P.S. Definitely a white Christmas here in Anchorage. It’s snowing again right now. Ho, ho, etc.