One Christmas Eve day, when I was seven (or so) years old, my younger sister and I went up to the attic, where all things were stored, to find our Christmas Stockings. My brilliant idea had been that everything would move along faster if we had our stockings. Ideally, the finding of the stockings would be the catalyst for our traditional Christmas Eve festivities to begin: we would go to church, eat a dinner consisting of a traditional seafood stew, watch A Christmas Carol (the one with George C. Scott), hang our stockings by the fireplace, read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, then try to sleep between the sugar plum fairies and sounds of little hooves on the roof interrupting our dreams.
While we were in the attic, instead of stockings, we found a treasure trove of toys. A giant pink dollhouse with all the furnishings, a jungle of stuffed animals, Go Go My Walking Pup, and other toys that I can't remember right now... Of course, being the sweet, innocent children we were, we went to my parents and told them what we had found. We were met with looks of horror. That's when we knew we were in trouble. My mom quickly locked herself in the bathroom with the phone, while my Aunt Kathy tried to console us as we sat at the kitchen table, wringing our hands with worry. Would Santa still come after we had just committed the end all be all of things that would put one on the Naughty List?
As my mom reemerged from the bathroom, I could feel my heart beating rapidly, and sweat forming on the palms of my hands. She looked at us, and said, "I just spoke with the North Pole. Apparently, Santa uses various houses as a warehouse for other kids' toys, so he won't have to carry them all on his sleigh. Don't worry. Santa's still coming, he's just using our attic to store other toys." Thrilled that we hadn't ruined Christmas, we jumped up and danced around the kitchen with glee. Christmas Eve was as magical as ever, and soon, the troubles of the day had vanished into thin air.
On Christmas morning, as my sister and I tore through the wrapping paper like wild animals, I stopped for a minute, surveyed our newly acquired treasures and looked at my sister. I stopped her and said, "Loren, isn't it kind of amazing that somewhere in the world Santa brought some lucky kids the exact same presents as us?"
this photo of me and my sister was taken on Easter, but still gives the same effect, because I also believed that a giant rabbit left us candy and colored eggs....
I wish that this story was a work of fiction, but alas, it really happened this way. I really was that gullible, and definitely believed in Santa until I was twelve years old. Yup, that's right. Twelve. For Reals.