I still remember how I found out who Santa Claus really is.
It was Three Kings Day, January 6, the ’70s.
We used to get really cool presents on Three Kings Day, sometimes even more special than Christmas presents.
My favorite Three Kings presents were temporary tattoos and Action Transfers—remember those?
One Three Kings Day my sister and I found a baby doll crib and sheets under the tree.
On its plastic cover was our names written in Pentel Pen (or marker to you) by what looked very much like my mom’s handwriting.
“It’s mom’s writing,” my intelligent sister thought out loudly.
Oh my God.
We woke up my mom to ask her, and she confirmed it. Not only was she Santa Claus, she was also Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar.
My sons are now 6, 10, and 12.
A couple of years ago the two elder boys started hearing in school that Santa isn’t real.
Not wanting the spoil the fun for the little one I simply told them, those who don’t believe in Santa don’t get Santa gifts. So both elder kuyas continued to “believe.”
Each year I would think very hard how to make the packaging believable, not even using my own handwriting.
This year I ordered personalized Christmas sacks from the U.K. They were gorgeous.
The little boy got Playmobils from Santa, while I ordered two iPad minis for the bigger boys.
The iPad minis were purchased in Hong Kong by Tita Grace because they were a cheaper by a couple of thousand each.
I was so proud at what I did. We even spread a trail of “snowflakes” on our doorstep.
On Christmas eve, the boys got scared when they saw the “snowflakes.” They thought someone had broken in—like someone from the North Pole maybe? I wondered out loudly. Duh??
And then they saw the Christmas sacks, opened them and saw the iPad minis.
“This isn’t possible,” Markus said, shaking his head.
“Am I dreaming?” Ben said.
They were so happy they high-fived each other and went to bed.
On January 4, while we were checked in at the Raffles Hotel for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, the boys searched for their new iPads to bring down to the ballroom, just in case.
That was when Tita Grace casually told Ben, “Oh, I bought those in Hong Kong you know.”
Ben’s eyes grew and whispered to me he knew I was Santa.
“Please don’t tell Markus and Chris,” I said.
A few days later while having lunch at home, Markus asked me in between bites, “So how do you get our teeth from under the pillow without anyone noticing?”
“What?” I said.
“You’re the Tooth Fairy right?”
I looked at Ben. “You told him!”
“It’s OK mommy. I knew you were Santa. I just wanted to get the gifts,” Markus said.
For a while there I didn’t know if I wanted to kill Grace or thank her for sparing me another year of staging a North Pole invasion in our living room.
I decided not to get mad at her. The boys are after all growing up. It would be ridiculous to have a teenager writing to Santa next year.
Anyway, I did save some money on the iPads. So thanks, Grace! I guess.
Those interested in the Christmas sacks, here’s where to order.