Ah, traditions. We have a few. Most I can do without. Like the the blow-ups on the lawn or Hubby dressing up as an elf. (Yeah.) But there is one...a very special one...I couldn't do without.
Every holiday season, in the week before Christmas, we pack the kids in the car and head down to Boston. We visit the Frog Pond. We walk the Common and run through the lighted walkways. We pet the police horses, do a little shopping, and of course, grab a Starbucks eggnog latte, or ten. And then we work our way over to the North End, for it's there that Mike's Pastry lives (and can I just say, if Walmart is Hell on earth, than they are Heaven on earth.)
So, cooler in hand, we buy our Christmas chocolate chip cannolis. Enough for me and Hubby, and one for Santa. Because Santa, he doesn't want stupid cookies. No. He wants chocolate chip cannolis (heavy on the powdered sugar) from Mike's Pastry.
And this has been the way. And all has been well. Until three years ago, when we walked into Mike's Pastry and there were only 2 chocolate chip cannoli left. Panic erupted. But what can you do? So we grabbed the last two and ran for the NH border.
That night, as we set out the milk and carrots, Bob looked at me concerned.
"What are we going to do? We don't have enough cannoli for you and Dad and Santa."
I turned, pulled the box out of the fridge, and handed it to Bob.
"Here," I said. "Dad and I don't need them. Santa can have these."
That's when a blood-curdling shriek erupted from Hubby, and he flew into the kitchen and snatched the box out of Bob's hands.
"You can't do that!" he said. "How can you waste our cannoli on Santa Claus like that?" He spun and thrust them back into the refrigerator. "Santa will just have to find his own cannolis. These are mine!"
Have no fear. I recovered the cannoli from the fridge and we left it for Santa, and he was incredibly pleased with our sacrifice and generosity. And Hubby, well. I figure one of these days, maybe, someone, like me, should take pity on him and have "The Talk" with him. He's getting a bit old for this...
So I did. And I thought it went well. Really well. Until last night.
You see, this time of year a local radio station has young children call in and speak to Santa*. It's delightful, hearing their excited voices as they count off their wish lists and assurances they will leave lots of cookies and milk and carrot for the reindeer. It's also entertaining, these extensive wish lists and how Santa promises that if they've been good they'll get exactly what they wished for Christmas morning.
Apparently it's also perplexing, because as Hubby loaded the dishwasher while listening to that night's broadcast he turned to me, his face contorted in confusion.
"I don't get it," he said.
"You don't get what?"
"How does Santa manage to get them everything they want? And how does he know what they will be getting? He's just one guy."
I love that man. I do. So much. For being so wonderful and kind and believing in magic long after others have grown cynical to life. Lonnnngggg after. I don't have the heart to explain it again. And really, maybe it's better that way.
I wish you all a Christmas filled with love and hope and faith, and magic and the knowledge that sometimes it's just okay to believe long after others have stopped. I wish you all lots of chocolate cannoli too. Especially me. I wish it on me. A lot.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
*Parents call the station and all requests are prescreened by staff before Santa actually speaks to the child. Therefore Santa is capable of speaking quite confidently on what each child will be receiving...