When I was a kid, one of our Christmas Eve traditions was picking up the rotary telephone and painfully spending 1/3 of the evening dialing NORAD, where one could receive "up to the minute!" updates on Santa's progress around the globe. As our parents tended their tired dialing fingers, my brother and I gobbled it up, all crowded around a single tethered phone receiver in our kitchen. In black and white.
Nowadays you can practically Skype with Santa as you track him on Google Earth. Maybe I'm just being an old fogey, but that's definitely not the same. All these newfangled contraptions take some of the intimacy out of what was an amazing shared holiday experience of my youth.
Wow. I'm definitely turning forty.
I will grant that there is one part of the new Christmas experience that's pretty cool. Just last week, Finn received a big envelope from the North Pole, with stickers, tattoos and personalized letters from BOTH Santa AND Rudolph. Santa even knew what Finn wanted for Christmas and included a notarized, personalized "Nice" certificate, which makes it clear that he's either going to get exactly what he asked for or he's now going to be extra-special-extremely disappointed. Thanks Santa.
Finn was beyond thrilled and he shows his goodies to everyone. His love of Christmas & Santa is a wonderful thing to behold, even if it is based on a kinda-sorta lie. But I don't need to worry about that yet. When Jena jokingly expressed surprise that Rudolph could write a letter, Finn just dismissively responded, "Santa wrote the letter, Rudolph just told him what to say and signed his name."
Of course. Duh.
Long live Santa, though his days are clearly numbered. Finn is growing up way too fast. Just earlier this evening, he spent twenty minutes reciting almost word for word from memory the conversation between Daffy/Duck Dodgers and Marvin the Martian on Planet X after only watching Bugs Bunny for the very first time this past weekend. I verified his story not from memory, but because I decided to watch it again with him to check it out. Bugs Bunny is awesome.
So as wonderful as it is to have a kid this age at Christmas, we'll see how much longer Santa sticks around. Hopefully it's for at least one more year/letter. This sure is cool.