This year, Christmas started with a lie. Not the usual Santa Claus fib and not your typical seasonal white lies either—“yes, I’d love to chip in to buy boss-from-hell a present!”, “This is exactly the gift I wanted” or “Of course, I don’t mind if your parents come over for Christmas again.”
I went off script.
I staged Mark’s Christmas on December 16.
“Like I was saying, this year, Christmas will be a bit… different.”
“Well, Santa may not deliver presents on December 24. I mean, he’s coming and you’ll get gifts, just not on Christmas Eve.”
“You know that we’re going travelling, right? So it may be difficult for Santa to bring gifts to a hotel room.”
“Hotel? Cool! Will there be a swimming pool?”
“Frankly, absolutely no idea where we will be exactly for Christmas and whether the hotel we have yet to book in a place we have yet to decide on will have a swimming pool.”
“Wow, there are many things you don’t know.”
“You have no idea. But I promise Santa will come before we leave. Are you okay with that?”
We never went to great lengths to convince Mark that Santa Claus is real. He told me that he knows he doesn’t exist, but he also begged me to embrace the myth—in his words, “Can we please pretend?”
Of course, we can pretend. And I needed his “permission” to tweak Christmas.
“Does it mean I won’t have to wait as long?”
“Sure! Oh… oh, no. What are we going to do with my Advent Calendar? Can we take it with us?”
“… You can eat all the chocolates before we leave.”
“Even the big Kinder egg?”
“YAY! Best Christmas ever!”
“It should be fun. Technically, you’ll get two chances to celebrate. Presents in Ottawa and then they have Christmas over there too. No snow but probably Christmas trees and lights and maybe other surprises.”
So we shopped around, wrapped Mark’s gifts and got everything ready for our December 16 Christmas. I hid the presents in his room—did I mix up Christmas with Easter?—and we had a fun evening.
Then we went straight to the next task that kept us busy for the next two days—packing and getting ready for the trip.
More to come…!