This I Believe

Dani - Iowa City, Iowa
Entered on December 5, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: Christianity

Dani Pitlick

499 words

The Tradition of Christmas

Do you remember when you were little and how there were certain things you were led to believe to be true? Later in life however you usually discovered that these things were lies. For example, frogs do not give you warts, eating the crust on your bread does not make your hair curly, the stork does not drop babies on people’s doorsteps and Santa Clause, does not exist. Wait. Santa Clause doesn’t exist? That’s where I draw the line. Santa Clause goes hand in hand with Christmas and the traditions that go along with it. That is one thing I never plan on giving up. I believe in tradition, but more importantly, I believe in Santa Clause.

My family has a tradition that we follow religiously every single year. On Christmas Eve, we go to Christmas mass. I always sing with my grandpa in the choir. Then we go back to Grandma Pitlick’s house for dinner and to open presents.

There was one year we decided to do this the weekend after for my cousins from out of town. I was NOT thrilled. It was a complete disaster. My uncle ended up getting himself and everyone else sick. “I told you!!” I’d say to everyone. “It’s a sign; this is what happens when we don’t follow tradition!” Ever since that year, it’s always been Christmas Eve for the Pitlick’s. Some of my aunts tease me about it. They’ll ask me, “Now do we open presents or eat dinner first?” Why are you asking me? I’d say. “Because, you’re the tradition queen!” And then they all laugh.

But the truth is I’m obsessed with tradition. I love being with my family. I’m fortunate enough to have a large one, and even more fortunate to have them all living nearby. It’s not about the presents I open; it’s about remembering when I was little and how innocent and simple things were. Let’s face it, Santa Clause was the man. There was nothing better than Christmas spirit. Being with my family around Christmastime always reminded me of that.

Now it’s my younger cousins that remind me of that feeling. Ripping open a present, exclaiming, whoa! I’ve always wanted this, and then quickly throwing it aside and moving onto the next. I realize that at some point I am going to grow up and it isn’t going to be possible to follow this tradition. I think that’s why year after year it only becomes more important.

I still remember the day I asked my mom about Santa. I sat her down and said, mom, tell me the truth. Does Santa Clause really exist? She paused, and turned to my dad. Before she could answer I stopped her, shocked, and exclaimed, “I don’t even wanna know about the Easter bunny!” and stormed out. I haven’t asked her since. I don’t need to, because in my heart I know he’s real. And as long as he’s real, I’m happy…as long as we still follow tradition!