Fifth graders had the prestigious honor of donning Santa Claus hats and parading around the school as Santa's elves to hand out candy canes to the younger kids. I couldn't wait.
I was a nerdy kid with the keen ability to take any situation and blow it wildly out of proportion.
On the day of the big parade, the fifth grade teachers sat down 60 kids hopped up on Christmas break jitters to explain how the festivities would work.
Everyone knows it is of the utmost importance to blend into your surroundings and not draw attention to oneself in the fifth grade. If a popular kid makes fun of you, you get blacklisted and are suddenly eating lunch by yourself.
Upon hearing my teacher's proclamation, I noticed my classmates did not jump onto their desks demanding Mrs. Shaw be arrested for slander. In fact, there was a lot of solemn, knowing nodding going on around me.
I had to keep it together.
Somewhere the lines of communication had broken down. Notes had been sent home to parents about the Christmas parade, but apparently the school did not include any information like, "Oh by the way, we plan on crushing your child's hopes and dreams by letting them know you, as parents, have been lying to them for the past 10 years about their favorite holiday. Merry Christmas!"
This information might have been useful for someone like my mother who was on a different timeline than everyone else's parents.
We lined up to begin the Christmas parade. I was not the harbinger of All Things Christmas I had previously imagined.
I didn't have the heart to tell my parents what I learned in school..."I'll give them one last Christmas." So on Christmas Eve I went to bed knowing the empty stockings and Christmas tree would be overflowing with gifts in the morning - put there lovingly by my parents.
That night I was in my room contemplating existentialism when I heard a noise on the roof of our silent house.
My newly wizened self was sure there would be some logical explanation for a noise on the roof on Christmas Eve. A really fat squirrel chasing a raccoon. A UFO making a pit stop on its way to Nevada.
My heart quickened.
I raced out of my room.
I went back to my bedroom to pout.
When the noise from above came again.
Ten whole minutes passed and I couldn't take it a second longer. I ran out of my bedroom into the silent house.
On Christmas morning I made a beeline to the small package I had found in my stocking the night before. An orange bracelet that neither my father or mother could remember purchasing sat in the box.
And how could they remember buying it...? They hadn't.
Santa had brought it to me.
So this year remember, Christmas is a time to hope, dream the impossible and keep the magic alive for just a little longer.
And question everything your fifth grade teacher told you.
Happy holidays all!