Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sympathy Saturday - The truth about Santa

"Santa's not real," my daughter proclaimed yesterday morning when my mother-in-law mentioned him in passing. As I proudly beamed at my spawn for reaching a new stage in her development, I think my mother-in-law, who was visibly shaken, died a little inside.

They continued to discuss the matter, my 8-year-old asserting that it's just the parents, my mother-in-law scrambling to suggest that the parents are just Santa's helpers. The kid wasn't buying it.

My daughter didn't argue in the way she would if Grandma tried to assert that 2+2=5. Nor did she laugh like she does when Grandma asks her silly questions like why she has 12 toes. She simply stated her case in a way that said, "I know you don't believe the lie, either."

Her grandmother laughed as she made her last attempts to convince this child to hold on to Santa just one more year. But it was that nervous laugh. She made one last joke blaming public school, then walked away. Defeated.

This is very similar to how it went down when I was a kid. I declared that my mom was Santa. She denied it, but Christmas morning I pointed out that the "From Santa" written on the gifts was clearly her handwriting.

While I was proud of myself for solving the case, my mom was clearly disappointed that I had spoiled this aspect of Christmas for her. I never understood why, and I guess I still don't.

My mom was over it by the next Christmas. And I suspect it was nice to not have to stay up all night to place the presents from Santa under the tree after we finally fell asleep. But I know she took those Christmas Eve vigils very seriously.

I may not exactly understand why it hurts, but I chose Sympathy Saturday for this little tidbit of my continuing family history to acknowledge all of the women in my family who were devastated by hearing the truth about Santa.

Friday, December 14, 2012

I'm back... and I have a plan

Well, my genealogy research burnout had a much longer impact than I had anticipated. But a stress-free Thanksgiving and West Caribbean cruise have given me a much-needed rest.

I've indulged in many of my other interests; painting, learning about digital photography, aquiring new and improved household cleaning products (loving the Swiffer Wet Jet!), and even collected a few more tidbits for my genealogy research.

I realize the key is to pace myself so I don't find myself chasing dead-ends for days at a time. And I really need to focus on organizing the data I already have.

My plan is to spend one or two days a week working only on organization. I'll need to test out several genealogy programs for the computer and decide which is most suited to my needs. Then move on to data entry.

I know the hardest part will be when I get to the data entry, because I'm going to want to go chasing down ancestral siblings I have limited information on. But I will try to just stick to entering everything I already have first.

And try not to be too intimidated by formulating source citations. Yes, I'll go back and reread Citing Your Sources Can Be Fun. I can do this. I will do this.
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