Wednesday, December 21

Quote of the Day:  “Tomorrow’s life is too late.  Live today.”  Marcus Valerius Martialis

This morning, Christine, Linda and I met at the parking lot of Neff’s Canyon, strapped on our snowtraks and headed up the trail.  The center of the trail is snow covered but dirt is showing through on the sides and boulders are popping their corners out everywhere.  I had never used my snowtraks before, but I immediately loved how they kept my foot from sliding.  We have had such miserable smog in the Salt Lake Valley, but this morning there was a clearness to the valley air and the lights were bright all the way to the Oquirrh Mountains and the sky in Neff’s Canyon- one word: amazing. Dark and beautiful.  I followed behind Linda, Christine and their 3 dogs.  One very large, one medium and the youngest dog, Mochi, who would nip at my hand now and then.  I could feel their enthusiasm for the crisp outdoors. I must confess, I get this scared feeling sometimes in Neff’s Canyon, especially when I’m bringing up the rear.  I wonder if a cougar could be watching us- it makes me want to turn my head and look around.  We did experience a cool thing during our hike.  We got to a place on the trail and were suddenly in this whirlwind of snow- it only lasted about a minute but I enjoyed being part of a small wind twister.  Once again, soul food- great friends, great scenery, great exercise!

So yesterday as I was listening to TV while cleaning, I heard a teaser that said something like:  “Coming up next: How to keep Santa alive in your children eyes for years and years.”  It intrigued me a little because I wondered how a parent does that when there are so many forces in the world that most children are exposed to and influenced by, for example, other siblings, peers at school etc.  Nonetheless, the woman who was on the show to talk about this subject had all these ways to “convince” your kids.  They included making Santa’s bootprint by putting a stencil of a boot with powdered sugar sprinkled over it by the fireplace, making reindeer footprints with cocoa powder on the entry way tile leading to the bowls of water you’ve left for the reindeer.  Do they actually come inside the house?  And then when the holidays are finished, signing up on the internet for a card sent to your children from Santa, with a picture of him on a beach in Florida, saying thanks for the cookies you left out for him including a thanks for water for the reindeer and a reminder to be “good” in the coming year.  Really?  But my favorite, that I would never do, was to reenact Santa, reindeer and sleigh making a botched landing on your roof, actually breaking some of your Christmas lights in the process and dumping some of the snow off the roof to the area below!  I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling like Christmas is a full-time job anyway, out-thinking the kids may put me over the edge.  

But it got me thinking about when I learned the truth about Santa- it’s even hard to write those words.  I can’t remember the exact age when it occurred nor can I remember who told me.  Perhaps I just realized on my own.  But I, for certain, knew it by the 5th grade maybe even 4th.  But is that really such a bad thing?  What is the motivation for parents to keep their kids out of the “know” for as long as they can?  Is it because that marks the end of innocence or childhood?  I don’t know but I have to say that I think there is something to being in the “know” also.  Do you remember when you knew but kept the legend going for someone else?  That was fun, too.  My sister, Jen, was born when I was 9 and I remember one Christmas Eve when Santa came to our home.  Jen was 3 or 4 and I can still picture her bright eyes and look of wonder.  That was priceless.  I liked that I was part of that “gang” who understood and wanted to make it so… much fun for the younger ones.  And then my final question: Why don’t parents want to get credit for all this giving and endulgence?  Is it because if your children knew you were such a pushover to get all these gifts for them at Christmas, what would they assume you’d be capable of giving the rest of the year?  The savviest of kids keep it under wraps anyway, they want the gifts to keep coming and they are not going to do anything to jeopardize that!

Maggie experiencing the magic of Christmas at Temple Square


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