Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why Santa Doesn't Outsource

Santa didn't come to our house this year. (Or at least, he hasn't made it here yet.) And, no, it wasn't that the kids were naughty, or at least not any naughtier than one would expect. It seemed pretty crazy considering how much time I'd spent talking him up. Here is what happened.

Both of my brothers were coming home to Michigan for Christmas. Nick lives in Minnesota and Ryan lives in Oregon and they were both bringing significant others. This was a pretty big deal, and we agreed to spend Christmas at my parents' (summer) house Up North. Brett and I quickly realized that aside from not having much room in our vehicle for transporting gifts, it would be really difficult to get them Up North without Mia noticing (and I wasn't ready to explain to a three year old why Mama and Daddy have all of the packages that Santa brings). 

So we came up with what seemed like a perfect solution: My parents were watching the kids on December 18 while Brett and I went to a musical. When we returned home, Brett loaded a box full of wrapped presents into Santa's sleigh (my mom's vehicle) to be delivered to Grandma and Grandpa's house Up North. Well, Grandma and Grandpa made it Up North, but the box of presents did not. And naturally, we didn't realize that they were missing until about 10:30 or 11:00 on Christmas Eve.

My dad felt awful for letting me down (okay it probably didn't help that I cried some) and he offered to take Nick and drive downstate to get the gifts. We decided that seemed a bit ridiculous. It would have taken them a good 8 hours or more to get there and back, and who knows how the roads may have been. Anyway, I was pretty sure the kids would be awake before they got back, so that idea was out.

Christmas morning wasn't exactly how I envisioned it, but thankfully it wasn't a total disaster, either. My mom and Nick piled all of the presents that they had for the kids in the middle of the floor (There wasn't a Christmas tree, but that's another story.), and we decided that we would say they were all from Santa. Of course, the kids didn't know the difference; they couldn't read the labels on that huge pile of packages. However, it made Santa's carefully selected gifts (remember the ones sitting in a box downstate?) seem kind of sad.

I'm still trying to decide what about those presents from Santa. Do I just give them to Mia and Logan whenever we happen to retrieve them my parents' house? ("Look, kids! Santa didn't realize we were Up North for Christmas, so he couldn't deliver your presents to Grandma and Grandpa's house, but now that we're back home, here they are under the Christmas tree!") Do I save them for birthdays or some other occasion? (That seems a bit anticlimactic, at least for me Santa.) Do I return them? (I don't really want to. We bought most of them online, plus they really were the most perfect gifts we Santa could choose for our children.)

I've tried to keep it all in perspective. If Santa I am the only one who is really upset by this, then it's not that big of a deal. And in a few years, when we can actually share this story with the kids (without devastating them by telling them that Santa isn't real), it will be funny. For now, it's just one more life lesson learned: Santa doesn't outsource.

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