Idol Worship –


So, my sister and I were at the Halverson’s house one Christmas Eve afternoon. I was about 10 years old and she about 5. We were sitting with Marilyn and her teenage kids around the kitchen table eating Christmas cookies. Just hanging out. Marilyn casually mentioned that she heard a news report about a flying sleigh sighted on the other side of the world someplace.

What? Stunning! I knew there was no Santa by then but why would Marilyn Halverson lie about a thing like that? What was in it for her? Was she saying Santa was real? There was something fishy about this whole thing. I had a million questions.  Oh, and, I asked several before I noticed the look of shock on Marilyn’s face or got that the teenagers were laughing at me.

My little sister, Betty, turned to me and said, “What’s wrong with you? There is no Santa Claus, OK?”  Then it hit me. Marilyn was telling this story specifically to Betty! The five-year-old! The five-year-old know-it-all-cynic more like it.

I guess I just wanted to believe in Santa a little bit longer.

Fast-forward to 2011

I had forgotten how much I really loved Santa. This will be our third Christmas with Thorin. He did not express much interest in Santa until this year. Now, everything is Santa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He and I were on the way to school a few weeks ago and I asked him if he knew he could ask Santa for gifts. The look on his face was priceless. Quick fist jab, “Yesith!” (This was so easy!)

“Go for it, what do you want?”

“A ball. A big ball!”

“What color?”  (I could afford to go all out.)

“Green!”  (Easy peasy.)

“Anything else?”

“A slide!”

(It’s December. Winter. Inside slide? Tougher but not impossible.)

“More Shrek!”  More about that soon.                                                      

Imagine shopping with Bub-ba and the delight in finding the film Shrek the Halls!

Shrek + Santa * = screaming at the top of his lungs in Target and clutching the DVD to his chest. The screaming actually didn’t stop so we cut our trip short and headed to the check-out. We had to pry it out of his hands so the cashier could ring it in. She tried zapping it through his hands but he really had a death grip on it.

Then last weekend we went to a holiday sale at a friend’s garden center. It was a holiday extravaganza – real live alpaca’s, donuts made out of potatoes, music, free pretzels and SANTA!

I ran into Santa while Thorin and Ward were listening to music.

“Hey, Santa, my son would love to meet you. Where are you going to be in about 3 minutes?”

“What’s his name?” (Smart Santa!)

“It’s Thorin. Can I tell you something he wants?” (Smart me!)

My sister, all grown up, found Thorin and said Santa wanted to meet him. Pretty good for a cynic.

I think you would have to have a heart of stone not to have been blown away by the meeting of the two. My friend Marty – who likes to think he has a heart of stone – teared up and kept saying over and over again, “That made my day.” (Ok, we all teared up including Aunt Betty.)

Watching Thorin’s face as Santa called him by name and then told him he heard he wanted a BIG, GREEN BALL made me realize why at 10 years old I still wanted a little Santa magic. **


*I guess it would be like Timothy Olyphant being a guest judge on Project Runway for me.

** Santa also told him to keep his room clean and be nice to his mom. (I guess Santa knows what’s what.)

This entry was posted in By Notatypicalmom, Parenting, Random life by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She is the author of the memoir Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at CNN, Psychology Today online, The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: Email:

4 thoughts on “Idol Worship –

  1. I grew up way too early. Knew too much about what I shouldn’t have known way too soon. But…….I could not let go of believing in Santa. Held on to it for dear life until I was nine, but I did have 4 older brothers and sisters who loved keeping the story alive for me and my younger brother. Go Thorin! I bet for sure, you’ll get that green ball!

  2. I’m an atheist who believes in Santa. I extended belief as a kid well past all the other “cool” kids. Why deny the magic? I’m loving it with Jojo right now and love THIS post, Kari! So awesome!

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