Since our oldest child was two years old, my husband made a big commitment by agreeing to dress up as Santa each Christmas Eve. For nearly ten years, it was such a joy to watch the girls wake up surprising Santa putting their gifts under the tree and letting them open a gift while sitting on his lap before dashing off to deliver more gifts around the World. The twinkle in their eyes said it all.
I’ll never forget the day both girls rushed home to show me the picture they took with Santa at our neighbors’ house party, explaining to me that he wasn’t the “real” Santa because the “real” Santa was Black. Until one year, Dominique who was now eight, noticed that Santa’s ears looked very much like Dad’s and that made her wonder. The following year she blew Dad’s cover to Alyse. It wasn’t long before Santa’s real identify was revealed to me in confidence, but I told the girls how much Dad really enjoyed dressing up and doing this for them, so let’s not disappoint him. It would be a few years before the girls started complaining about interrupting their sleep to see Santa and Damone asked if the girls were aware.
Now, the deal was he’d go along with my crazy plan only if I promised to tell him when they had figured him out. But, I was having way too much fun seeing Black Santa every Christmas Eve dressed up, and when my mother decided to start sitting on Santa’s lap and asking for her gift each Christmas Eve, it was just too good a tradition to end.
Well, although my husband hasn’t dressed up for us in years, he has pulled the Santa costume out of the battered box to bring joy to children in poverty on several occasions, and I often wonder how I’m going to get him back into that Santa costume when the grandchildren start to arrive.
From my family to yours, we wish you a wonderfully blessed and happy holiday season. Enjoy your family traditions and consider some of ours, but with everything may your memories be bright.
Our holiday traditions: Take turns reading portions of the story of Christmas from the Bible. The reason for the season. Have the kids clean out their toy boxes/video games and donate them. This is a great way to teach the principal of giving. Adopt a family and shop for items on their wish list. We always found a family to help through the girl’s school counselor and the girls felt connected. Cookie decorating night and enjoy eating them over hot apple cider with friends. We always allow the girls to invite a couple of their closest friends. Enjoy a night out at Opportunity Village and drink hot cocoa while touring the holiday lights. Visit the strip and pretend you’re a tourist having dinner out and catching a show. And last but not least, celebrate Kwanzaa with a traditional potluck and dress up. Celebrate your heritage and history.
Yvette Williams is a community advocate and Chair/Founder of the Clark County Black Caucus, a non-partisan community organization driven 100% by volunteer members registered to vote. Follow her Blog at www.YvetteBWilliams.com and on twitter @YvetteBWilliams or contact her at ClarkCountyBlackCaucus@gmail.com for more information.