Family Magazine

Santa Scared My Girl to Tears

By A Happy Mum @A_Happy_Mum
Yesterday was Christmas Eve. Or Julafton, as it is called in Sweden.
It is a red day here where the shops are closed and the streets are empty, a day when all families and friends gather, have Christmas dinner and exchange Christmas gifts.  
My Julafton this year was a specially memorable one.
Santa scared my girl to tears
Firstly, I had my first ever real Christmas tree! Ok, I don't mean real real, but a Christmas tree that is taller than me, can stand up properly and can be dressed up. Since we only got back from holiday in the afternoon, it was quite an achievement that we accomplished the tree by evening. Oh, my mom and dad arrived in Sweden that morning and you know what, it was the first time in all of my 28 years that we hung balls on a Christmas tree together.
By the way, I had a craft session with my niece and nephew and we did personalised Christmas stockings for each of them. I let them have fun choosing the felt colours, drawing the decorations and sticking them onto the stockings. Well, let's just say girls love, and are better at, art and craft more than boys. Mostly.
Santa scared my girl to tearsIt was a reunion dinner that night when 11 of us crowded around the table and had a delectable steamboat session. Yes, my parents, jw's parents, his brother's family, plus us makes 11, and it was the first time we had so many next of kin with us on a cold winter night in Sweden. That just brings so much warmth to our hearts, doesn't it?
We also had a Christmas gift exchange when all the grown ups put a gift under the tree and then drew lots, or mahjong tiles, to determine which gift goes to them. Jw and I gave away a frying pan and a hot water flask and in return, we received a box of berries essence and a seashell necklace. But ultimately, the point of it all wasn't about what presents we got, it's about the joy of gathering by the tree, opening up presents, giving hugs to everyone and simply enjoying the feeling of family bliss.
Santa scared my girl to tearsSince log cakes are not the in thing here and I couldn't get my hands on one, we had to settle for an elongated Prinsesstårta (Princess cake) instead. Thankfully everyone loved it and since they specially made the top layer bright red, it fitted into the Christmas theme aptly. As always, the kids' favorite part was when we sang "We wish you a Merry Christmas" and they subsequently blew out the candles.
Santa scared my girl to tearsThough the kids didn't take part in the gift exchange, they were the big winners because they received a gift from nearly everyone. Yeah, we just like to spoil them but hey, it's Christmas! Angel received some pretty dresses, a cute little hair clip in the shape of a Christmas hat which lights up and a fishing game which used to be one of my childhood favourites.
The highlight of the night was when we had a visitor in our house. Yes, Santa Claus came to town!
Santa scared my girl to tears
This was Santa getting ready. Besides the sack of presents, he also had a little black book and an alarm with him. The black book helped him to determine what good deeds the children had done and whether they deserved to get a present. Yes, Santa makes one of the best teachers and it's a great way to teach your kid to be good. As for the alarm, it was a brilliant scheme for Santa to make an exit by letting the kids know that his time was up and that he needed to go visit other houses. Hopefully before his disguise was seen through.
Santa scared my girl to tearsWell, this was behind the scene. I had a hard time stuffing pillows for Santa's belly since my hubby was so, so skinny fit. I probably had the most petite Santa Claus ever in my house tonight but honestly, I thought he rocked the outfit.
Santa scared my girl to tearsOops, alas Santa couldn't fit into the chimney, so he had to come through the door. I was all excited when I heard the door bell ring and I gathered the kids, telling them that we were going to have a very special visitor.
Let's just say the kids had diverse reactions when they saw this strange-looking man in red.
6-year-old Yu Xuan -- Screamed fanatically from beginning to end that it was 叔叔 (uncle) behind the costume and even attempted to pull off his beard.
4-year-old Yu Heng -- Influenced by his sister, he also started to ask if Santa was his uncle but after much persuasion, and a pack of white lies, from the grown ups, he actually believed that it was a real Santa who was here to give the children presents on Christmas.
2-year-old Angel -- Turned into a koala bear and grabbed on to grandma the moment she saw Santa. A very petrified, terrified and horrified koala bear who couldn't stop crying no matter what we did. Even if we broke the rule and told her the truth that Santa was daddy.
Santa scared my girl to tears
I concluded that she was probably frightened to think that her suave daddy had turned into a fat, old and weird-looking man. Brrrr, that scares me too.
Anyway, though my plan didn't go as expected for Angel, I still had to give Santa a hug because he did a great job at it all. He sang a Christmas carol, he made our niece and nephew very amused and happy, he kept rocking back and forth to make his bell ring, he had to hold on to his big belly all the time, he somehow just had a way to make everyone roll with laughter. Thank You, Santa!
Santa scared my girl to tears
When Daddy was back, Angel clung onto him like a long lost treasure and that was when I saw the love she had for him. I guess she'd much prefer her plain old looking daddy anytime. When we asked her who came to our house to give her that snowman stuffed toy that she was hugging tightly, she gleefully and innocently told us it was Santa Claus and that he had gone home. Awwww, she did buy the story after all and luckily she loved the present.
Santa scared my girl to tears
There was just so much warmth, fun, joy and laughter in my house that night.
So, that marked the end of my not-really-white but nonetheless very simple and happy Christmas. Hope everyone had a great Christmas too. Ho-ho-ho!

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