Since Max was born I find myself getting a lot more nostalgic about memories from my childhood. And more so than ever, it’s been so much fun having my parents and Aaron’s parents recount stories of what we were like at Max’s age. With Hanukkah and Christmas right around the corner, I thought I’d share a story Aaron’s Mom told me recently about when he stopped believing in Santa. Only 5 years old and he was already analyzing data to solve problems.
Aaron is Jewish but he was one of those lucky kids that also celebrated Christmas (I used to be so jealous of those kids). Every year Aaron’s family would spend Christmas at his Grandmother’s house, which was always fully decked-out for the holiday. Every Christmas eve Aaron and his sister, Ashley, would leave cookies and milk by the fireplace for Santa. And every Christmas morning they would wake-up to ample evidence that Santa had visited during the night: there would be gifts under the tree and the cookies would be gone, replaced by a note from the Man himself, thanking them for the midnight snack.
Apparently, at age 5, this didn’t sit right with Aaron. His parents said he recruited Ashley to collect handwriting samples from all of their relatives staying in the house. Ashley, being 3 at the time, wasn’t privy to the mission goal and innocently helped. With Santa’s letter in hand, Aaron carefully compared each handwriting sample and concluded that Santa was actually his Aunt Laurie. Of course, Aaron immediately shared his findings with Ashley, prematurely ending the Santa game for her—there were no spoiler alerts back then.
Aaron and I still have a couple of years to decide what we are going to tell Max about Santa but I like the idea of mixing Christmas and Hanukah traditions. Max just experienced his first night of Hanukkah and, although he probably won’t remember it, he loved pushing his Y-bike around in his new walking shoes, and I had a lot of fun wrapping his gifts like monsters.
Max with Santa.