“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The Children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads…”
Um, the kids are not nestled snug in their beds. Not on the night before Christmas.
Children from all around the world are huddled in their rooms, planning and plotting as you read this. This year they plan to finally catch jolly ol’ St. Nick in the act of delivering presents under the tree. Past attempts were met with good intentions, but always failed.
You did your best to stay up late into the night, flashlights were hidden under each pillow, listening for the sounds of sleigh bells and reindeer. You waited. The only sounds that came that night were the sounds you heard every night from your parents bedroom down the hall. There was no mistaking the sounds of dad snoring.
By the time you willed your eyes to open it was always too late. With flashlight in hand, you and your siblings crept down the stairs or down the hallway as quietly as you could, trying your best to keep the beam of light in front of you and not pointed at mom and dad’s room. You peered around the corner and spotted the Christmas tree. Your eyes rolled over each and every present. The excitement grew, the anticipation was too much. You moved closer to the tree. You marveled at the brightly colored new presents all wrapped and placed perfectly under the tree. The large box with your name on the tag held your curiosity. But so did the mysterious and elusive Santa Claus. Once again, he got away.
Have you ever wondered how many kids around the world have tried to catch Santa Claus? I bet the number is well into the millions. Over one million attempts and over one million failures.
Not to shabby for an overweight older man.
I remember my own attempts of catching a glimpse of the jolly one. One year I decided to tie a string around my big toe and have the line run into the living room. The other end of the string was fastened to a spot on the wall. Santa would have to walk past the taut line which would then pull and tug at my toe. Didn’t work. At some point in the night, the pain coming from my foot was too much, forcing me to untie the string. My toe had swollen and had begun to turn an unnatural color. Yep, the string was way too tight. Once again, the elusive one remained out of my grasps.
Several days ago while watching television with my children my youngest daughter, aged nine, out of nowhere blurted out to all in the living room, that she knows that Santa Claus is real. No one was discussing Christmas or Santa. I was interested in why her little mind decided that now was the time to make such a proclamation. I asked her how she knows this. With the confidence of a child much older and showing off a pride at her discovery, she explained her logic. “We always leave a big glass of milk out for Santa. Well I know Dad doesn’t like to drink milk. I know Mama K doesn’t like milk either. So it has to be Santa drinking the milk.”
There you have it. The logic of a nine-year old child. Taking such a complex mystery and whittling it down to the most basic element. Who is drinking the milk?
I guess it’s a good thing we don’t leave a can of cold beer or a glass of wine for Santa.
So what clever attempts did you make as a child to catch Santa Claus? Have you caught your kids planning or plotting yet? I would love for you to share any hijinks from your childhood memories. I find it interesting and immensely amusing the way a child’s mind works and to what lengths they will go to capture a glimpse of the most elusive St. Nick.
Part II of Trying to Catch Santa Claus will appear on Thursday. Who knows, maybe a comment or two could work its way into the blog. But I will reveal the one sure-fire, honest-to-goodness way to catch Santa Claus. Stay tuned for this stunning revelation!!