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My kids think we have a giving tree

“Yes, Virginia. There is a Santa Claus.”

After Monday afternoon, one could substitute ‘Virginia’ with Mia or Dianna-Grace after they made their way to Mommy’s house after a long weekend at their dad’s.

All of us had worked really hard the previous weekend getting the Christmas tree just so-so.

When the girls left on Thursday morning, there were no presents under the Christmas tree; however, when they returned there were one or two under the tree.

How they arrived there needs no explanation. Busy moms understand, but to those three little girls, it was the greatest mystery of all time.

Each one of you reading this would be proud of my amazing powers of improv as I explained to them that each of those boxes under the tree were just that — boxes, only to be filled at Christmas, if and when, they were all good enough to receive presents.

Each assured me they would be “Good as gold, momma. Good as gold.”

After our little pep talk and a quick visit to the back of the house, I returned to the living room to find that Miss Mia had made quick work of arranging the presents in order as to whom they belonged — one pile for Ora in Hannah Montana wrapping paper; one pile for Dianna-Grace in Tinkerbell paper, of course, and one for her, which in her words was woefully short of her sisters.

“Ders Ora’s. Ders I-ya’s. (She can’t say Dianna-Grace.)

“Where mine?” she said and signed, wagging her pointer finger back and forth — the American Sign Language for “where” and patting her chest.

I explained to her that I’m sure that Santa must have gotten called away on very important elf business and didn’t have time to finish doling out the boxes, which, in turn, prompted the question of when would he be back.

On Christmas Eve, I told her.

When I relayed this story at work, it was at this point my ever-practical coworker asked if I had an Advent calendar? I probably should tell people this, but I never knew what those countdown calendars were called until not too long ago. The first time I heard “Advent calendar,” I wondered why people would want a calendar with baby bottles on it. Oh well, if you can’t laugh at yourself, whom can you laugh at?

Anyway, we now have a “markdown calendar,” a.k.a. Advent calendar, which tells us there are only 17 days left until the big day.

Seventeen days for my children, and yours too probably, to be on their “good as gold” behavior so those boxes under the tree are filled with Christmas goodies. Something tells me that Santa is going to have to get creative to find something to fill those boxes under the tree.

I hope he’s got it in him.