Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dear Santa

Happy Saint Nicholas Day ! The best day of the year ! Okay, so I am not Catholic- not even Christian for that matter- and holidays are usually things that are fun but not really exciting to me. It's not that I don't care, but it's more like most holidays don't seem to have a lot of deep meaning to me. Saint Nicholas Day does, and for a very special reason. As it is part of my own ongoing weight loss journey, I will share. Miracles do happen, be they with weight loss or simply life, and this is about one of them.

When I was a little girl, our family did not have a lot of financial resources, but we had a lot of creativity and activities that built strong family bonds ( something much more important in the long run than material things). My mom would try to think of some kind of Christmas Craft for my sister and I to make each year, and one year it was Santa Faces. Take a styrofoam ball, glue some cotton balls on or a beard and hair, apply red felt triangles with straight pins for eyes, mouths and hat.Sort of like this, but ours were absolutely horrible

They were dirt cheap, easy to make with a 6 and 4 year old, but the UGLIEST things I had ever seen. I ribbed my mom about how ugly they were, and she ignored me. I told her that I never wanted to have any Santa anything in my house no matter what because Santa was stupid. Okay, those ornaments were stupid to me, but she saved them and every year she packed them up and hung them on the next years tree till they totally deteriorated.Each year Santa's beards were more frayed, had bits of old glittered pine cones on them or broken glass and were consistently losing eyes and noses. Chunks of Santa's heads were chipped away or crushed, and the affect was a tree with shrunken heads more than anything else. Every year I made sarcastic comments about them and it became sort of the family joke to put me with a Santa anything.

Fast forward about 20 years. Hubby and I were infertile for 8 years , and it was not until I discovered I had PCOS and lost 110 pounds that the condition was brought into control. I conceived, but we had a stillbirth. The Christmas after our loss was one of the lowest points in my life, and I remember staring at our tree, knowing that this should have been our son's first Christmas and having my arms ache from the emptiness. Half joking I said "Santa, I want a baby !" And on June 24 of that year, I conceived my son ( when you are dealing with infertility, conception seems to become more of a lab project than romance, and you have scientific data that can pretty much pinpoint the date). The next Christmas found me pregnant and experiencing a lot of problems. My team of Doctors seemed to be doing all they could to scare me to death with each OB appointment, and it was broken up with long periods of silence, isolation and just plain worry. So once again the Christmas tree came out and something reminded me of Saint Nicholas, who became part of our modern Santa figure , and I was reminded that he was the Patron Saint of Children. Perhaps I was out of my mind with worry, perhaps I was just suffering from pregnancy hormones, but I sat there looking at the tree and said to Saint Nicholas that if he got me and the baby through this safely , I would never mock him again . Somehow at that minute I knew that things were going to be alright. And on March 28 of that spring, I got my gift
We named him Nicholas Alexander for the Saint and the famous conqueror. And since that year, on Saint Nicholas Day, we have a little celebration. In years when Nick was young it involved a wooden shoe filled with candy and small toys, but now that he is older the celebrations are different. And the Santa appreciation did not end there. I began collecting Santa figures and most years at Christmas they come out to decorate or home. This year because things are very up in the air with the impending bathroom remodel, the move and other factors, we have not put them up. However, last year I snapped pictures of some of the more collectable ones in my collection of International Gift Giver figures

The Star man(Poland) La Befana ( Italy) two others that I cannot remember their names

A few more. I cannot recall their names , but I love them all. One day I will have space to buy a curio cabinet and store these figures in year round. They have a lot of meaning to our family. So what are we doing this year ? There is a conflict with my husband's singing schedual and some much needed car repairs that cannot be done during the week because of a very busy time due to a software change, so we are going to go out to eat and then make a tour of some spectacular neighborhood light shows. To Nick, the best part of Christmas is the lights, so there you have it.

As to me, I think I am going to speak once again to that man in the red suit and ask him to help me figure out a program hat works with my body to drop these pounds at long last. My hubby, who is a dear and wonderful man, seems to think I may have lost all the weight I can because I officially have chicken legs and a big belly that will not budge with dynamite. That , of course, kicks the part of my brain into gear that says "Oh yeah ? Watch me prove you wrong" So Santa, a little help please ? Or perhaps I should put it as one of my favorite Christmas Carols does

"Santa, remeber your part
don't break a little girls heart
just remeber this Christmas
the pretty little dolly
is the present you must leave
if you want to see New Years Eve !"

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