Friday, December 16, 2016

One Last Visit

 This is the eighth Christmas by Candlelight that they have visited with (this) Santa. For a few reasons we weren't originally planning to attend Christmas by Candlelight this year, but when we heard that this year would be his last (he's retiring after twenty-one years) Dave and I knew that we had to make one final visit with him happen. For a family who isn't big on Santa there really is something very magical about this particular Santa. If I didn't know better I'd say he's the real deal! 
 Since we had originally told the girls we weren't going to Christmas by Candlelight this year we felt it was only right to tell them why we had changed our minds. They were excited to see him again, but a bit sad, too. This Santa is the only one they've ever visited, and I know they looked forward to chatting with him each year. And I think he looked forward to their visit, too. I've long felt that he remembered them each year. Maybe that's silly but it's always felt that way to me. 
If I'm being honest, I do believe that his retirement comes at the exact right moment for our girls. At (almost) ten-and-a-half and (almost) nine years old this very well could be the final year of Santa for them anyway. A natural ending if you will. And those kind of endings really are the best, most gentle kinds, I do believe.  

And so, after our visit I decided that it might be wise to mention this to the girls. 

"Next year, even if there is a new Santa, how about if we skip visiting him? Let's leave the Santa visits for the younger kids and let our time with Santa visits end with his retirement this year. What do you girls think?"

They agreed that it was a lovely idea. 

"And you do realize what this means, don't you? It means that you get to become part of the Christmas magic now. It means you get to help make Christmas magical for those who are younger than you. You get to be Santa's helpers, if you will, spreading Christmas cheer and magic for all those who need it. Do you think you'd like to do that?!"

As you can well imagine, if you have been a reader of this blog or a friend of ours for any length of time, the girls were definitely up for being part of the magic!

And so, with that, we say a very sincere thank you to this very dear soul. Thank you, Santa, for making their childhoods (and my mamahood) a little more magical. Thank you for eight years of wonderful visits at Christmas by Candlelight. They will forever be some of our most cherished holiday memories. xo


  1. Aw that is so lovely, Shel! We didn't get a chance to visit this Santa- we thought for the first time ever we would actually visit Santa this year (I knew you had said before how good this one was), but the line was an hour long and the girls were tired at that point (we waited til the end- big mistake!) My favorite uncle used to dress as Santa every year and visit sick children and do charity events. Alice knew he was Santa when we'd see him, so when he died she decided out of loyalty she wouldn't visit any other Santa's. I think it's a lovely progression for your girls. Our family are big Santa believers, however, like you I think this might be the last year that Alice believes in the magic of it. Next year she may well end up sharing the magic with the little ones too. It's been a fun road with my children. xx

    1. Oh, yes, we always made a beeline for him as soon as we got there since that line can get crazy long! The first time we saw him, back in 2009, he was in the hands on craft center. The next handful of years in the visitors center play area and then this year they moved him to the textile building. We weren't sure about that move at first but it was lovely how they decorated and covered over the guns and quilts and things to make it more kid friendly and Christmasy!

      I am so grateful for this natural ending for them. It's easier than not I would think. Even though Santa wasn't a main focus for us there really is something bittersweet about this ending. These years have passed far too quickly, and while I am excited to see what's in store I'm sad that their young childhood days are passing swiftly by! xo

      I love that Alice decided to do that out of loyalty and love. She is such a sweetheart that girl of yours!