I was 8 years old when I stopped believing in Santa Clause. One day while my mother was at work, I went through the house to sneak a peek at any presents I could find.
When I finally found my mother's hiding spot for the gifts, I very carefully unwrapped a corner of each box, just enough to find out what I was getting. I made sure to tape it back, just as it was, to make sure I didn't get caught.
When Christmas morning came I ran out to the living room, only to find the same exact gifts under the tree, that I found under the bed, the week before.
"Love Santa" was written on the tags, with handwriting that was all too familiar. The excitement ended for me that day, when I realized that Santa didn't exist. I was mad and told my mother I didn't want the gifts, because I knew Santa didn't really bring them.
I wanted the kind of Christmas that you see in the movies....I had dreams of waking up to a houseful of delicately wrapped presents, and bows placed around the ones that were too big to wrap.
I wasn't aware of how much that hurt my mom. She was doing her best--giving everything she had to me. The next few Christmas' would be spent away from my mom. I remember how different life was with my dad and his new wife. We basically got anything and everything we wanted.
Christmas morning would come, and we would all run downstairs to find a room filled with gifts. We'd race and tear open the packages and it would all be over so quickly. I remember looking back on the Christmas' with my mom, and missing it so much.
Sure I didn't have the room filled with gifts, but I had a mom who tried her best and gave everything to me. She sacrificed and worked so hard. My mom was dealing with so many stresses. From Mike's multiple medical issues, to my own 8/9 yr old neediness. I didn't understand it then, but I understood it much better, when I saw how different Christmas' were away from her.
Over the years, I have learned, that it doesn't matter how big or small the event is, what REALLY matters, is who you spend the event with.