Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Santa Sighting

Santa visited our house tonight. Twice. He brought some gifts. Twice. He ate the cookies and drank the milk. Twice. He lost his hat. Only once. But it was during his second visit.

Right before Casey went to bed, we meticulously planned the timing of the visit, the placement of the actors, the contents of the red sack. This afternoon, Joe had Casey help him set up an old security camera in the dining room so that Casey could see Santa (downstairs) from the TV in our bedroom (upstairs). So at bedtime, the plan dictated that I would be in Casey's room reading him The Night Before Christmas; Pop Pop (in the Santa suit) and YaYa would be waiting on the porch, listening for Santa's cue, the reindeer bells; Joe would be on the porch roof outside Casey's room with the bells and whatever it is that he throws on the metal roof to sound like reindeer hooves. The jingling of the bells would set the following into motion: Santa would count to 30 before heading down the hall and then into the living room; Casey and I would leave his bedroom and go into the master bedroom where we could watch Santa on the TV. After jingling the bells, Joe was to come back around to the balcony off our bathroom, let himself into the bathroom and pretend like he was in the shower before coming out into the bedroom, where Casey and I would be watching Santa on the TV via the security camera.

Now, the key to this plan was Casey and I actually hearing the bells. Which we didn't. Casey and I were still sitting in his bedroom when Joe walked in wet, with a towel around his waist. I thought maybe Joe was trying to save himself time by going ahead and looking "showered" before he even went out onto the roof. When he found us in Casey's room, Joe realized that we'd missed the signal and went back out on the roof to do it again. This time, Casey and I heard it and ran into the master bedroom to watch the TV. No Santa. Joe came out of the "shower" and still no Santa appeared on the TV. So I said, "I'll go check around downstairs and see if I hear anything."

Casey screamed, "DON'T let him see you mom!!!"

When I got downstairs, YaYa and Pop Pop weren't waiting on the porch. I found them in Grandpa's room, where Pop Pop had already taken off the Santa suit! They were all grins, and I said, "What happened? Get back in the suit! He didn't see you."

"But we heard the bells! didn't you hear Chance (the dog, who was laying by the tree when Pop Pop went in the first time) barking? It scared Pop Pop to death!"

"I'm sorry. You have to do it again!"

In the meantime, this is what was happening upstairs:

Joe: "Maybe we should turn the camera off. Maybe Santa knows we're watching and he won't leave any presents."

Casey: "Well even if Santa doesn't leave us any presents, I'll still believe in him."

[I'm not sure what bothers me the most about this exchange: the fact that my husband would be so cruel as to tell our 5 year old that Santa is going to pass him by because he helped his dad spy on Santa, or the fact that my 5 year old apparently has more faith in Santa than he does in his own father, who had clearly led him astray by encouraging him to spy].

So Santa re-dresses and comes back in, pretends to put out presents that are already sitting under the tree, loses his hat and almost his hair, and then pretends to eat a cookie he had already eaten ten minutes before.

Pop Pop, having already had a dress rehearsal, was feeling a little too confident in his role, and talked a bit more than usual. The Christmas miracle this year was that Casey, who was hearing Santa talking about his hat and the gifts and the cookies, did not say, "Santa sure sounds a lot like Pop Pop!!"

Casey is sooooo relieved that Santa didn't punish him for spying and is convinced that he saw Santa leave a box large enough that it must contain the Star Wars Millenium Falcon toy that he so desperately wants and we have desperately been trying to talk him out of.

Regardless of whether or not Casey gets his Christmas wish, I hope for your sake that Santa only had to come to your house once this year because otherwise your husband might have been on your roof butt naked and soaking wet, shaking some jingle bells.

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