presents under the tree

“To: Mom, From: Santa” My Boys Couldn’t Believe It!

Phyllis People 25 Comments

As I child, I refused to believe there was no Santa! I am the oldest of three children, so I was the first to go to school and hear all the opinions on this subject. One weirdo kid proceeded to tell me that it was not true and that my parents were fibbing. But they would never—right? Either way, it worked for me! I loved Santa, and I still do today. The magic and make-believe are just a part of my childhood.

Then one Christmas, the truth was revealed by accident, quite literally. We all were sent to bed, and the strain of lying still when you were wide awake was horrible. As I was lying there, I heard a noise from the basement below. Now, knowing Santa was on the move that evening, I wasn’t very disturbed. However, I began listening closer to the thumping and bumping up the basement stairs. It was a sound that I recognized and a laughter that was all too familiar….

The next morning, under the tree sat my beautiful suitcase and train case that just so happened to be on my list. Long story short, the thumping was Mom falling up the stairs with the luggage and getting tickled at herself. I looked at her with a sheepish grin and after my siblings had left the room I said, “Fall up the stairs?” She just burst into laughter as only she can. I knew but it didn’t matter—it was all just so much fun! Did it destroy my belief in the unseen? Not for a second! I wasn’t about to miss out on keeping up the charade for my siblings.

When my twins were young, they would test Santa and ask him to bring things that were not on their list. One year they told me on Christmas Eve that they asked Santa to bring ME something special. My heart sank as they explained that they were testing Santa to see if he was real! After prying, I discovered that they had asked him for coral-colored shoes for me, since they knew I adored that color. And being the dead of winter, that color would be nowhere to be found. A pretty crafty plan for two children!

What they didn’t know was that I had purchased a pair of coral pumps a few months earlier when the summer shoes were on sale, and they were tucked away in my closet. So, I wrapped them and slipped them under the tree. The next morning, two blue-eyed little fellows were certain they had solved the mystery. The presents were opened and there was only one left. The tag read, “To: Mom, From: Santa.”

Their little mouths dropped.  They brought the box to me and stood right over me while I opened it. They giggled and blushed—shocked that Santa had granted their wish! I was just relieved I had those shoes and the fun would go on another year. See, I knew good things come from shopping sales!

I look back on those days with great fondness, both my childhood and time with my boys. There is nothing like the magic of Christmas when there are children around. I wish the joy of children could be experienced by all this year. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Please share your favorite childhood memory!

Southern Lady cover

Comments 25

  1. One Christmas a long time ago, I remember my sisters and I received the doll called tiny tears. She was the prettiest little doll! And our parents also purchased three baby carriages to go with each of the dolls. Mine was a big navy blue one, another sister received a baby-blue one, and our youngest sister received a pink one. That was a very long time ago and I remember it like it was yesterday.

  2. One Christmas when my grandsons were very young and believed in Santa. Our daughter, husband and boys went to visit their paternal grandparents and would to be home Christmas morning. So, my husband and I when to their home and got all the Santa gifts out and I put Santa footprints leading from the fireplace to the tree with ash from the fireplace. It proved that Santa was there.
    They still talk about that Christmas to this day! Merry Christmas to all!

  3. The children in my life know that Santa only delivers toys to those who believe in him. Parents have to deliver to those who stop believing.

    I wanted to share a wonderful quote I read today:
    “The same God that placed that star in a precise orbit millennia before it appeared over Bethlehem in celebration of the birth of the Babe has given at least equal attention to placement of each of us in precise human orbits so that we may, if we will, illuminate the landscape of our individual lives, so that our light may not only lead others but warm them as well.”

  4. Brings back memories of seeing my Barbie Dream House on Christmas morning many years ago. I couldn’t understand why my dad wasn’t interested in the beautiful house that Santa left for me. Years later my mother explained that my dear dad had spent half the night putting it together! In those days, the Barbie houses were cardboard not plastic.

  5. One of my favorite Christmas memories was the year I received my last doll. I was pre-teen and my youngest sister three years younger. We had decided most of all we each wanted a boy doll that could wear regular baby size clothes. We did our best to leave frequent notes all over the house….on our parents’s pillows, on the bathroom mirrors etc. When I got up early to peek under the tree I did not see a doll and my heart sank, I returned to bed. A bit later sister Emilie, came tugging at my bed begging me to join her in looking in our bulging stockings hanging on the mantle. In the toe was a note to look in the coat closet. There we found another note which sent us to another place etc. etc. So at the end of our treasurer hunt were the dolls of our dreams! What fun that was. Another funny memory was when my granddaughter came skipping into the front room to see her new bike and exclaimed “I didn’t get coal!”

  6. Thank you for telling this sweet story of finding out who Santa is. I found out by looking into a mirror near an open door leading indirectly to the living room where the Christmas tree was. There stood my dear father amidst a pile of small wrapped gifts. He was holding a Shirley Temple doll. I was not surprised that he was Santa Claus. Daddy was everything to me as my mother had died the previous September. I still believe in the myth of Santa. He is part of American culture.

    God bless your torn heart as you get through this strange Christmas without your dear father.

  7. I always believed in Santa Claus and cannot remember when I stopped believing. I still think of Santa Claus as a great man who makes people happy. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and blessings in the new year.

  8. When I was about nine years old, my aunt told me I was too old to believe in Santa Claus any more. My parents were furious that my aunt had said that to me. When I went home I heard the story that the writer had wrote to a girl named Virginia. I was thrilled and told my parents see there is a Santa Claus. As an adult i still believe in Santa Claus.Phyllis have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  9. I believed in Santa Claus up until I was a pre-teen. I finally realized the letter from Santa that was left was in my father’s handwriting. I love the magic of Santa Claus. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a blessed 2019.

  10. Phyllis, as I read all the fun things people have written, I am thinking of you, your sweet Mom and all the siblings as this year is likely bittersweet. I am also thinking of your precious Daddy and his first Christmas with our Lord. Can you imagine what it is like ?
    May this be an encouragement to you.
    Merry Christmas and Many Blessings,

  11. We always got gifts from St.Nicholas on his names day in early December…I believed in him long after I found out the truth about Santa. The gift always appeared as if by magic by our bedsides. And it almost always snowed! I don’t know how my mother managed to be so quiet as to not wake my brother and me. When I tried to recreate the same for my son, I remember how difficult it was as every sound seemed magnified…from the squeaky floor boards, crinkling wrapping paper etc…it was exhausting, but worth it!

  12. Thank you for this precious story, it warmed my heart and memories of my 2 children when they were young poured back in! Merry Christmas to you and your Phyllis, it is just a joy to read your column.

  13. My favorite story is the year we moved into our new house (the one we still live in) with a upstairs – my son who is 41/2 years older than his sister & knew the secret but was instructed to keep quiet – creeped into his sister’s room – said I think I heard Santa on the roof – let’s go look & see if he has been here…he led her to the top of the stairs where they sat & gazed & their presents (I always left the tree lights on for Santa!) – it was a special moment for brother & sister. Apparently they just sat quietly & gazed at their haul LOL. We didn’t hear about this until years later – but it was sweet to hear that brother had not only kept the secret but added to the joy! They are now 28 & 32 – brother will be spending the night at our house this year with his new fiancé & I wonder what they will come up with for Christmas Eve, since little sister is living back with us for the time being.

  14. My sister is four years older than myself. We slept together all the years right up to the time we left home. She could not fall asleep CHRISTMAS Eve making it hard for me too and when I finally did fall asleep she would wake me up before the crack of dawn. Our parents just kept on sleeping meaning we had to stay in bed until one of them got up and built a fire. Lord that was misery. When we were FINALLY allowed to race to the living room we had been awake so long we were starving. Santa brought each of us a shoe box of goodies, chocolate cover peanuts, cream drops, hard candies, fruit, and dried raises still on the vines. Do you rememer those? We would dig in so when breakfast came we couldn’t eat, I can still hear my mother warning me that I would get sick if I ate too much. Good thing I never did

  15. One of my favorite Christmas memories is the year I was 10– many years ago! Santa brought me a pink “kitchen set”–four separate pieces–stove, sink, cabinet and refrigerator and also a little set of purple dishes and artificial food. We lived six miles away from my grandparents where we would spend Christmas Day. My dear dad loaded all of it into the trunk of our car, carried it into Grandma and Grandpa’s for me so I could play with it all day and of course, brought it all back home for me that evening. This might be one of the reasons I love to cook and bake so much today!

    Thanks, Phyllis, for all the lovely hours of enjoyment reading your food magazines! A very Merry Christmas to you and all the Ribbon readers!

  16. What a wonderful story Phyllis. I also still believe in the magic of Santa. The favorite doll that I received was Bizzy Lizzy. She could iron and vacuum and she was just so cute. These days I ponder that wonderful starry night in Bethlehem and the birth of our Saviour who loves each and everyone of us. Merry Christmas to you and to all the readers of The Ribbon.

  17. In my daughter’s kindergarten class a boy told everyone at their table that there was no such thing as Santa Claus, it was your parents. Rachel spoke up and said he was wrong because her parents wouldn’t buy her that much stuff!!! LOL

  18. What a blessing it must have been to see the look on their sweet little faces, and the joy for you that you could give them at least one more magical Christmas. This makes me smile

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