Pajamas From Santa

 

Ding dong! The doorbell chimed on cue as it had for years each Christmas Eve. I  watched from the couch as my children, Timothy and Lauren, race from opposite ends of the house and collide at the door.

Staying up alone on Christmas Eve was difficult for me as a single parent of two small children. I feared I’d nod off while I waited on the little ones to fall asleep. Far too early and at the risk of being caught, I would begin the time-consuming process of assembling hidden gifts, while trying not to make a sound. Rarely was I successful.

The excitement of the holiday would build all season. By the time December 24th arrived, it was hard for any of us to come down from our holiday highs long enough to have sugarplums dancing in our heads. When I learned of a particular tradition that was touted to be the best cure for getting children to sleep on Christmas Eve,  I was elated as well as relieved.

Around 8:00 PM on Christmas Eve, a friend would place two wrapped packages on our front steps. She’d ring the doorbell and run around the corner of the house to hide and listen for the squeals of joy as my children discovered the gifts at the door. Each year, the presents were wrapped in paper unlike any wrapping paper under our tree. Each had a note attached, written in an unfamiliar handwriting. The note would read:

Dear Timothy and Lauren,

I stopped by to deliver your toys and see you are still  awake.

I’ve left your Christmas pajamas.  I will fly by one more time but you better be in bed!

Love,

Santa

In the beginning, I had to read the note to them. All too soon, my children could read the note for themselves. The gentle reminder from Santa Claus noting that Christmas Eve is a busy night for him motivated my children into their new pajamas and tucked in their beds. Before you could say reindeer paws, they were asleep!

Believing in Santa is a lot like believing in God. It takes faith. As Kris Kringle said in the classic movie Miracle on 34th Street, “If you can’t accept anything on faith, you are doomed to a life dominated by doubt.” When children are told there is no Santa, Christmas is never the same. Pajamas that came from Santa enabled us to keep just a small part of the wide-eyed wonder that is lost when we no longer believe.

When Lauren and Timothy reached the teen years, I assumed they’d outgrown this tradition and I reluctantly suggested it might be time to give it up. They were very vocal in their opposition to the change. I’ve  enjoyed this ritual almost as much as my children. As each year passed my teens showed less enthusiasm over one more holiday activity, and I faced the reality that one day my kids would be gone.

Traditions change and kids grow up, but I savor every memory of my laughing towheaded son crouched next to his  green-eyed, baby sister. Delight spilled out from eyes brighter than any twinkle light on our tree. Encased in their Christmas pajamas, love and joy is smeared across my children’s faces like the remnants of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Timothy and Lauren are now 25 and 22, and no longer live at home, but Pajamas from Santa still appear each Christmas. They haven’t outgrown this tradition, and it’s a delight to watch them upwrap memories with each pajama gift. This year God gave me a surprise gift, my husband Jim, and new memories are being created. With only 3 days to Christmas I’m still searching for pajamas for his 6’5″ frame. God filled my tall order. Pray I can do the same.

Create a memory . . . start a tradition.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE: Christmas Traditions: True Stories that Celebrate the Spirit of the Season

  1. Brenda C., 10 May, 2014

    I love the Christmas pajama tradition! My children are 21 & 22 now. My 21yo daughter still lives at home. This past Christmas was the first when we didn’t get new pajamas. We still fit in our matching Christmas penguin fleece pj’s, after all, and actually have so many winter pj’s that we’ve really no room to store more! But it’s fun to look through photos at all the different matching or coordinating pj’s we wore to open stockings on Christmas morning. 🙂

  2. Jo Rae Johnson Jetton, 12 May, 2014

    Thank you, Brenda, for sharing your pajama tradition! I love Christmas traditions and hope to continue them. Seeing those pajamas bring back the memories for your children and mine. Keep it up! Blessings, Jo Rae

 

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