Mantam had been discussing since November what they wanted to ask Santa but their wishes kept changing. In December, they told me that Ms. Mathews had asked them to write a letter to Santa with three wishes. I pounced on the opportunity and told them “Oh, you finally decided right? You can’t change it anymore as Santa will start buying gifts based on your letter.” I casually asked them what they had written. Mannu said “Frozen sticker book, Frozen makeup set and a slinky” Tammu said “Blue shoes like Elsa, Puppy dog and a slinky” I exclaimed “Oh no. What if Santa really gives you a puppy dog? Who will take care of it when we are away from home during weekdays?” Tammu said “Oh don’t worry Mumma. I have wished for a toy puppy not a real one.” I had to sneak in all these gifts under the nose of my aware-of-all-that’s –going-on-around-her Mannu. One evening Abbas had picked Mantam, so I quickly went to the mall and bought two slinkies as they could easily be hidden in the handbag. After that I didn’t get a chance to buy the gifts for the next couple of weeks. Everytime we went to shop, these two would be with us and it’s very difficult to pass anything without Mannu’s knowledge. She has a sharp sight, and even sharper mind. We just put up our Christmas tree and the wreath (I was cheap enough to hang the wreath inside instead of outside the front door)
In the meantime, we received the Santa’s reply along with the letters they had written. And to my horror, there was no mention of Slinky anywhere. So there you go, I was back to square one. One Sunday, when Abbas took Mantam to their swimming class, I went to the mall and bought all the items on their wishlist and also got a roll of wrapping paper and hid everything in the topmost kitchen shelf. On the eve of Christmas, we came back to the mall nearby home to buy a few essentials as all the shops were going to be closed for the next two days. We also clicked our picture with Santa in the mall. After coming back home, I made the traditional fruit cake as I have been doing every year for the past 3 years. Mannu said “Mumma, I can’t wait to see tomorrow.” They were packed off to bed after dinner. Once I was sure that they were immersed in sleep, I started the job of wrapping all the gifts. Abbas asked to me to pack the slinky also. So everything was packed and placed under the Christmas tree. I was myself getting so excited and couldn’t wait to see their reactions.
Abbas and I heard Mannu murmuring in her sleep. We were certain that she was seeing Santa delivering gifts 😛 At around 6 in the morning, we heard Mannu calling out “Mumma!” and I replied from our room “What happened Mannu?” She said “Did Santa come?” I said “I dunno dear” She said “Can I get off the bed and have a check?” I said “Why not!” And she went to the tree and shrieked in disbelief at the sight. She came running to us and told that Santa had indeed delivered presents. Even Tammu woke up and they started opening the presents. Abbas and I just sat on the couch and savoured the happiness on their faces and the joy in their expression. It was absolutely worth the wait!!
Mannu: “Mumma, Santa knows that I’m too young to use a makeup set na? That’s why he gifted lip balm only!”
Me:”Yes beta. Santa is very intelligent”
We wanted to go out later during the day but it started raining in the afternoon and didn’t stop at all. So we just relaxed at home. Next day we went to do some boxing day shopping and bought just a couple of things as the crowd there was maddening!! We still had weekend pending. We went to a beach, built sand castles, played in the waves, had fish and chips on Saturday. Sunday was spent relaxing again. That’s how we celebrated Christmas in our own simple way.