Dear Santa…..I Believe

It’s a gloomy day here in Northern Virginia. I’m sitting here with my daughter, snuggled up watching The Polar Express. Its at the part where the little kids sing “When Christmas Comes to Town,” and I’m fighting back the tears.

Dear Santa, I believe.

I believe in the joy and love you stand for. For the innocence and tradition you represent. The astonishing number of people who don’t believe baffles my mind. They don’t believe because they think your represent all that wrong with our world today – greed, selfishness and commercialism. You’ve come to represent a lie we tell our children, that you’re real and that you deliver presents to them. We tell our children the words of the song we have sung for years, “You better watch out, you better not cry. You better not pout, I’m telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town.” You won’t come if we’ve been naughty. And now we’ve lied to our children. Telling them that only if they are good will they get presents. How can our children believe anything we say once they find out the truth?

But I believe and I want my children to. Sure, my oldest two know that its only the magic of you that exists, that mommy and daddy put the presents out. But they have joy and happiness, and the benefit they get from keeping that magic alive, and the magic alive in their little brother.

There is so little joy and innocence left in this world. True and pure joy is hard to come by. Our world is tough, and so much hate and sadness exists. One by one our children are being stripped of all that makes them children. Imagination and play isn’t flourishing as it once was. And Santa I think you represent all those things. Some may argue that my faith should stop me from the ‘lie’ that you are. But I don’t think that you are that far removed from faith. Its true that St. Nicholas was a real person, and that he left coins and small gifts for the children of believers who left their shoes out. Each country and generation has added more to their Legend of Santa, and what Bishop Nicholas was is probably so far removed from what you become. But everything about you is a model of what we should be to our families, to our community and to the world.

In recent years I could feel myself become ashamed to say we believed. In a moment that has still stuck with me I was publicly teased by an adult, subtle as it was, for the use of you during Christmas. My belief in you is calling into question my faith in God, simply by the overwhelming amount of Christians I know that have made a choice to include you in the festivities. I never once judged someone for not including you, but every year I feel judged. I am conflicted. Is what I’m doing wrong? Will I get to heaven and be put to task for including you in our lives? I don’t know.

But I do know that like that little boy in The Polar Express that lived his whole life hearing that bell. I never want to stop hearing it. And I hope my children never do either. That bell, to me, symbolizes more than just you, flying with reindeer bring me presents. It symbolizes love, joy, innocence, peace, thankfulness, giving and sharing.

I hope I always hear it.
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Santa HQ is coming to Northern Virginia November 14th {and Nine other Locations in the US} #DCNoVAadventures

Usually you won’t hear a peep out of me about Christmas until after Thanksgiving; but I’m willing to make an exception when it comes to making sure you have the perfect Santa experience with your little ones. And one of the coolest places to visit that jolly man in red is coming to Tysons Corner!

For seven weeks, Nov 5th – December 24th, you can visit with Santa at Santa HQ, brought to you by HGTV. Take your picture with Santa, take an ‘Elfie Selfie, star in your own music video and use Elf-Ray vision to explore Santa’s Workshop. HGTV and DIY Television stars will also be present at certain locations. Alison Victoria, from Kitchen Crashers, will be at the Tysons location on November 20th. Before you leave make sure you enter to win HGTVs $10,000 Spreading Holiday Cheer Sweepstakes! What is probably the coolest thing about the Santa HQ experience is that you can make reservations. For a mom of three I think that is pretty darn cool. For a military spouse mom it’s probably the best thing ever, especially if your spouse is gone. Make sure to visit Santa HQ on the web for more information and to grab your slot to see the big guy.
See below to find the dates and locations nearest you!! And for all my DC/NoVA readers, we’ll see you November 14th. Make sure to use #loveHGTV and share you pictures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!
Arizona:
Chandler Fashion Center, Chandler, opens Nov. 7
Scottsdale Fashion Center, Scottsdale, opens Nov. 14 

California:
Vintage Faire, Modesto, opens Nov. 5
Los Cerritos Center, Cerritos, opens Nov. 7
Lakewood Center, Lakewood, Calif., opens Nov. 7
Colorado:
Flatiron Crossing, Broomfield, opens Nov. 7

Connecticut:
Danbury Fair, Danbury, opens Nov. 6
New Jersey:
Deptford Mall, Deptford Township, opens Nov. 5
Oregon:
Washington Square, Portland, opens Nov. 7
Washington D.C. area:
Tysons Corner Center in Virginia opens Nov. 14

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Santa is coming early to our house!

Being in the military sometimes has it’s perks….one of the perks is of course a direct line to Santa. So this year, since Daddy will be working hard Santa is making a special trip to our house this Saturday. When you’re in the military you do what you have do. It took me a little bit of thinking to decide what to do. At first I thought we’d just go with the flow and do Christmas on Christmas and it would just be whatever. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve had to just do what we had to do. But I realized since he will be here sort of close to the actual Christmas, the kids are still pretty young, and Brian will not be returning to school after our celebration before the winter break we decided to just go with it early. It’s more important that he be here to celebrate with us. Truthfully my little heart probably couldn’t take not celebrating with him. This particular Christmas seems to of particular importance because its our first one away from our families and closest family friends. December has been quite rough – a virus for Christopher and I, stomach flu for all of us, pretty bad colds for the kids and I. There’s so much I haven’t done that I wanted to. It’s important that I listen to my husband. The kids are young and probably won’t remember everything. At this point I’m doing this for me because I feel like I need to for them. I’m running myself ragged because I feel this need to for myself, to make up for the fact that things are different now. We got our tree late, the decorating didn’t go so well and the kids started melting down/falling asleep, hubbs has been working a ridiculous amount and its just not what I had in mind. However I must remember to take a deep breath. Too high of expectations only sets me up for disappointment. It is not like anything bad has happened, but I think expectations were too high and when things came up that were out of my control, it was difficult to handle.

 A visit with Santa, thanks Operation Homefront!
 with Miss Maryland Teen, showing her their toys.  Such a sweet girl.

 



Christmas at the White House!

        I must remember to concentrate on all the amazing and wonderful things that have happened. The kids and I were able to visit the White House, all decked out for Christmas none the less. Daddy WAS able to go with us to get a tree and decorated it. We put our lights up, decorations are up, we got to see Santa and be blessed by the amazing people at Operation Homefront, which we never have been able to do before. So cheers to the good things. Christmas is not about what happens to us. It’s about giving, which is ridiculously cliched I know. Imparting upon my children the true meaning of Christmas is more important than any of that other stuff.

Merry Christmas!!

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