Santa has left the building



 I’ve heard it said that holidays are better when there are children to share them with. I couldn’t agree more. But since our youngest is rapidly approaching 16, our days of parenting little ones are behind us. So it is that I treasure Christmas Eve, when our house bursts at the seams with extended family, food, laughter, love and little ones. There is one particular little face that melts my heart. Her name is as unique as she is. Arden has Laura Ingalls’ freckles, cheeks that were built to be pinched and so much twinkle in her Newman-esque eyes that she can get away with just about anything, and she knows it.  The kind of kid who opts to wear a bright pink Japanese kimono on Christmas Eve. She’s also the kind of kid who is not easily fazed, even by Santa himself. My husband is one of 8 children which means I am never in short-supply of brothers-in-law, one of whom could make a career as a photo-double for a Robinson son on Duck Dynasty. He is the definition of the strong, silent type. He’s also not much for crowds and at times will leave a party before it is over. A few short Christmas Eve’s ago he did just that. On that night as the evening was wrapping up for the rest of us, Arden made it clear that she was not yet ready to go home. After much pleading and cajoling her exasperated parents issued the ultimate threat, if we don’t leave now, Santa won’t come to our house. Arden looked at her mom and dad as if they were crazy and informed them that Santa just left. Yup, holidays are most definitely better when shared with children…and Santa.