“Yep, that’s what we do”

The following is pretty close to a conversation that I had years ago with my now ex-husband. You see, he was originally born in India and not only was the country he was living in foreign to him, but our holidays and customs were equally as foreign. So, it became second nature for me to have to explain the wackiness. It’s when you verbalize them and try explaining them they sound insane to an outsider looking in. The breakdown usually ended with, “Yep, that’s what we do.”

“Yep, That’s What We Do”

Have any of you ever had to explain to someone why we do what we do on certain holidays? It can be rather humorous. Take for instance Christmas. It’s supposed to be a deeply religious holiday, right? The conversation may go a little something like this:

“So, why do you put a tree in your house at Christmas?”
RESPONSE: “Ummm, not really sure. Because everyone else does?”

“Ok, so where does Santa fit in? This big, fat old guy comes from a magical land where he cohabitates with elves, then takes his flying reindeer on Christmas Eve, breaks into your house through the chimney and leaves you stuff?”
RESPONSE: “Yes, that’s what we tell our children, but not exactly in those words.”

“Then, this Santa guy eats all of your cookies and drinks a glass of your milk?”
RESPONSE: “Yes, he gets very hungry delivering all of those gifts around the world. Oh, and we leave carrots or something for the reindeer.”

“Do the reindeer come in the house too?”
RESPONSE: “No, silly, they’re on the roof with Santa’s magical sleigh.”

“Then, when your children get old enough…you tell them that the whole thing is made up?”
RESPONSE: “Yep, that’s what we do.”

Then there’s Easter. Another deeply religious holiday.

“Alright, so there’s a big man-sized bunny who breaks into your house and leaves you candy and eggs in baskets that he‘s hidden around the house?”
RESPONSE: “Yes.”

“Does he eat all of your cookies too?”
RESPONSE: “No, we don’t leave him anything, but maybe some people do. I guess you could leave him carrots like we do for the reindeer. But, he seems to be pretty resilient and doesn’t need to eat as much as Santa.”

“So then, in time, you tell your children that there’s no crazed, 6ft. tall rabbit roaming the streets at Easter with chocolate and eggs and that it was all made up?”
RESPONSE: “Yep, that’s what we do.”

Can’t Forget The Tooth Fairy.

“Ok, so you lose a tooth and some little sprite called the “tooth fairy” breaks into your house and steals your tooth from under your pillow and leaves you money in its place?”
RESPONSE: “Yep.”

“Wow, you have a lot of imaginary people breaking into your houses, but instead of stealing from you they leave you stuff. Interesting. And again, in time, you tell the children that it was really you and there is no make believe fairy that comes in the middle of the night and pays you for your teeth.”
RESPONSE: “Yep, that’s what we do.”

And who can forget Halloween.

“I don’t get it. You teach your children not to talk to strangers from the day they‘re born, but one night a year you dress them in crazy things called costumes and make them bang on every stranger’s door begging for food?”
RESPONSE: “Yep, that’s what we do.”

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So, needless to say, when our son was born I kept the tradition of all of these imaginary and mythical creatures alive. The gig was up when he reached kindergarten. That’s when his own questions and curiosity started. But, I don’t think it’s ruined him in any way. I think it gave him a sense of wonder and a little bit of magic in his early years. My ex may disagree, but hey, that’s what we do.

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