I wanted to share a very festive story that will hopefully make you laugh.
It was 2003 and I was a seven year old who never liked to sit still. Although, my mom will tell you that was true throughout my whole childhood. Anyway, my sister and I had our play room in the basement. I don’t think there was a time when you could actually see the floor. It was covered with anything from Barbies to Polly Pockets to Bratz and American Girl Dolls. The toys that weren’t taking residence on the floor were located in the multiple bins waiting to be played with. Barbie dream houses and Bratz limo’s were scattered about. Little rubber clothes that belonged to Polly were never anywhere besides the floor. You get the idea. The basement was a
mess, actually more than a mess. It looked like our basement threw up toys.
My mother hated that we kept it so messy. She always told us how much we needed to clean it. Did we listen? Uh no we were little kids, we couldn’t be bothered to keep it clean. I could give you a list of things I’d rather be doing than cleaning the basement: Playing with my toys duh, annoying my sisters, running around the house, annoying my parents, playing my Barbie Play Station game, annoying my cat, eating vegetables, eating a kiwi, annoying anyone I possibly could, cleaning the pool, doing the dishes, etc. My mom had enough and played her big card. She told us we would be getting coal for Christmas. Now at seven, I was not that naive. Did I really think I would get coal? No, that was just a silly little trick that was told to keep children in line. So I continued to ignore her because I was brat. Little did I know she had something better, or really my Pops did.
It’s a school night right before Christmas break and there’s a knock on the door. That was the age where you actually got excited when someone knocked on the door. I rush to answer it and an elf is standing outside my front door with a huge smile. I’m like freaking out because this is actually an elf in front of me. He has pointy ears, only slightly taller than me, and is decked out in Christmas clothes. I run to get my parents to tell them, you know there’s this strange elf standing outside. They don’t believe me obviously. (Looking back my parents lied a lot to make sure I still believed in Santa.) My sister Allison had come to see what was going on and my parents told us to go wait in the kitchen. We’re sitting at the table and in walks Santa with two elves in tow. This guy wasn’t your average mall Santa with the fake stomach and beard. The guy in our kitchen was legit. I even pulled on his beard to make sure.
I can’t remember exactly what he said, but I know he told us that we needed to clean our basement. This guy literally came all the way from wherever Santa was living those days to tell us to clean our basement. Seriously. He told us we wouldn’t be getting any presents for Christmas if we didn’t have it cleaned up before Christmas. I remember he even said he would check. (Which is super creepy to be honest.) As he was talking I remember I kept looking under the table to make sure these elves were real. I kept wondering if they were really that short. I think I may have asked them because hey, I was seven and had no filter. After assuring me they were real, I did in fact believe this was Santa. He even brought us one toy each. I was convinced that I had met Santa Claus.
Obviously we cleaned the basement. Santa himself told us to do it. The basement was spotless and we were rewarded with presents on Christmas morning.
I was left believing that Santa was real and I never actually had any doubts. I got in multiple fights with kids at school who kept trying to take away the fun I got from Christmas. I got in so many fights I lost track. You would think that hey, Heidi you’re like eleven now you should have probably realized that Santa isn’t real. But I met Santa! Santa knew that my basement was dirty! How else would he have known if he didn’t have magical powers? I believed in Santa until I was in the Sixth grade. My mother decided to tell me one morning as we’re waiting for the bus. She so casually goes: “Heidi you know Santa isn’t real right?” Santa isn’t real?? No I didn’t know Santa wasn’t real! I met Santa! I actually cried after she told me. Yes, at twelve years old I cried when I found out Santa was, in fact, make-believe. Can you really blame a girl though? I just wanted to believe in him forever.