Coming from a devout Indian Christian family, I have always been blessed to enjoy and celebrate every Christmas with great pomp and grandeur right from my childhood days in the Middle East.
Like any other kid I believed God was real with great power and strength-up above seated in heaven. The one person who aided in me believing in miracles and magic was none other than our dear Santa Claus. As a kid starting from my LKG days…my mom would prepare me mentally in advance about the magical arrival of Santa Claus on Christmas eve. The night before Christmas would be a sleepless night for me but then my mom used to very cleverly warn me about Santa not giving gifts to kids who didnt sleep well that night. The previous evening, we would draw out 3 chairs (2 for my elder brothers) and place our clean pair of socks on them. And I would shut tight my eye lids that night praying n hoping that the night would pass away in a jiffy. The next morning, we three would run to our chairs and open (more like tear apart) our gifts. I used to explode with joy and laughter.I didnt and still dont know if my brothers knew then but even if they did, they acted well amd besides.. I would never have believed them. I believed in Santa Claus more than I believed in any other person or thing or even God himself.
Years passed away with this yearly ritual. One Christmas a clueless me even asked my mom, how come Santa knew my name so well showing her the handwritten note on my Barbie doll gift packet. My mom would answer back in a rather matter-of-fact tone that after all he was Santa and he knew it all!
To substantiate my statement that I believed implicitly in Santa, I had even gotten into a heated debate in my 3rd std classroom about Santa’s existence. Yes the topic had 2 team sides…one believing in an actual ‘Santa exists’ theory and the other team saying that its a made up concept and it was our parents. Yes u wudnt believe but I did have some other idiotic friends like me supporting my belief. And my very genius rebuttal to those who didnt get any gifts would be “You should have kept your socks…he only gives gift if he sees the socks!!”
The next year suprisingly we came to India for Christmas.I was in the 3rd std and like each of the previous years, this year too I was waiting for Santa right since the calendar page for December propped up. It was only a tad different this time because instead of my brothers my cousin sis was with me for Christmas. She was about 4-5 yrs elder to me and was the I-know-it-all member of the family. The night before Christmas as I put my socks on a chair,she smirked….I ignored. The next day morning, I rushed to my chair and was delighted with my gift- ‘An orange cover stamp collection album.’ After some time my cousin walked towards me and started telling me how it was actually bought by my mother and that there was no real life Santa.Ofcourse I didnt, cudn’t and wouldn’t believe her,after which she went to her room and got a similar green color stamp collection album which she said my mom had gifted her too.Also she seemed to have gotten hold of the bill somehow which clearly showed 2 albums in it.She called my mom in front of me and confronted her. My mom not knowing how to react in front of her niece and not wanting to seem rude to her gave in. And told me it was her all the while…..
I stood there just numb absorbing all of that. All of just 9 yrs…my eyes welled up and I was inconsolable. I didnt know what struck me more- is it that my mom had lied all these yrs to me?or was my anger at God and Santa for fooling me? or at myself for not having the brains to crack this before? and what not! My mom hugged me and said that after all she was like a real Santa to me so it didnt really matter if it was she or Santa himself who gave me all those gifts. But she just didnt understand what went through my 9 yr old mind and heart that day. I felt cheated and lied to…I felt that the whole universe had conspired to fool me with a magic that didnt even exist! My mom was shocked at my reaction but I was even more shocked at hers ! That day I realised how it felt to be cheated and lied to, well you can say I took it very very badly.
Even today when I see little kids getting their Christmas gifts from Santa and opening them with great enthusiasm….I dread that day in their life when they will know the truth.And I quietly hope and wish they take it and process it in a much much better way than I did/could! 😢😢
Note- This post was not meant to offend anyone so no offense please. Also my 28 yr old mind and heart have well gotten over this first tym heartbreak experience😊😊
Love, Luck n Joy,
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