For my children, 1.5 - and 3-years-old, I hatched a plan for their enjoyment. Okay, I probably enjoyed it as much.
From other Christmases I had a strap with sleigh bells. I turned off all distractions and had my children sit with me on my son's bed to read The Night Before Christmas before bedtime. I had their father go outdoors shake the bells and say, "Ho, Ho. Merry Christmas" outside my son's room.
So far, the plan was working...in the planning stage, mind you.
My children were quiet and listening to the story I read. My husband did his part. What happened next so shocked me that I momentarily choked on the knot in my throat.
Both children were immediately propelled into action. The son ran to the window and pulled back the curtain. At the same moment the daughter slid down and scrambled under the bed. I was dumbstruck. I comforted her. The son was determined to see Santa and could not be persuaded to come away from the window.
A little later, my husband came in covered in mud. He had slid down while trying to avoid detection by the son. I had to laugh even though he was NOT happy.
UPDATE: I imagined a sweet scene where my little children would sit with wonder and joy, imagining Santa would soon deliver their gifts. No, they both shocked me with their unexpected and swift movement.
Several years later, the son was suspicious of the activity. He was eight by now. I had the six-year-old girl and a 15-month old daughter. The son demanded his father NOT go anywhere while we waited for Santa. The previous two years, he had determined his father was never present when Santa came.
This was no problem for me. I took the tape recorder and put on a long ten-minute lapse with no sound. Then, my husband did his part. We put this outside the front door and plugged it in somehow. We used the carport door and never opened the front door. There was no chance he would open the door or even get out to see the tape recorder. So, husband went out and pressed "play" at our pre-determined time. Remember, there were no remotes then.
So, we all sat around so the son could monitor his father's presence. The TV was turned off at the same time the recorder was started with the ten-minute pause. I started reading about seven-minutes into the pause, just three-minutes before the voice. "Ho, Ho, Ho. Merry Christmas."
That drove my son crazy. He said with much confidence that he knew we were doing this but had not figured out HOW we were doing it.
We had lots of fun with this over the years. We told our son after Christmas that year how we did it. He laughed and said he knew he was right.
The highlights of this little charade over the years were my children moving so quickly and scaring me that first year. Oh, and my husband falling in the mud puddle. He had mud from head to toe.
Okay, so maybe this was a cute thing to do or bizarre, but as parents we had fun.
Did you ever do anything like this, tricking your kids at Christmas? Well, other than telling there was a Santa and reindeer bringing gifts.