As many of us parents know, Christmas is one of those holidays that we get reminded of at least a month in advance by our kids.
On Dec. 1, my daughter came running to hug me when I picked her from school, screaming at the top of her lungs.
"It's December Papi! Christmas is here!"
Now, I don't know what I was thinking before that, but the first words that came to my mind was "Santa Claus!" followed by "presents," followed by "low funds."
These past couple of years have been tough for most of us, economically speaking. Last year, Santa managed to save enough to bring my kids the toys they wanted (the same toys they don't like anymore).
However, this year has been a bit tougher than last, and Santa's scratching his head and searching for ways to make it work.
I asked my daughter casually, "What do you like about Christmas, hija?"
Without hesitation and with a big smile she answered, "The presents!"
Ha! I expected the answer and had planned to respond with an explanation of the spirit of Christmas and giving, of family reunions and sharing our time together, but after seeing her smile, happiness and expectation, I only smiled back at her, hugged her and shut up.
She took me back to when I was about her age. I remember writing my wish list, brushing my teeth, being extra nice to the adults of the house and going to bed early—at least a couple of days before Christmas.
But, oh boy, I remembered the grownups back then trying to explain to me the same things I hoped to explain to my daughter now. Good luck, because it never made sense to me.
As a kid, who cares about anything else but presents? If I think about it, it wasn't even the toys that made my day. The coolest part was to wake up, run down the stairs, go through the presents, finally find mine and discover what was under all that wrapping. I guess, ultimately, it was all about the surprise.
So reflecting on that, I realized Santa has been stressing for no reason. It is not about how many toys he brings or how expensive they are or how "hip." In the end, none of that matters. It is all about the surprise.
So if Santa is having a hard time figuring out how to come to your house too, I recommend relaxing a bit, thinking back on what we used to like about Christmas when we were kids. Just think of the new and creative ways to surprise those kiddos in the morning.
As for me, I'm thinking this Christmas I will make my kids work for their presents. I'm going to hide them and make them look for them!