When Molly was much younger and far easier to fool, we started the habit of celebrating Advent. It's always been the day that the Christmas tree and the decorations go up and the presents for other folks go round the tree, but more than that it's also the day when Santa stops by and drops off a little something for Molly. The bell rings, Molly answers it and there's a bag on the doorstep. Meanwhile Daddy pretends he's been busy at the computer or something similar.
(No-one has yet nicked the bag in the minute or so it's out on the step)
For years this was a collection of Christmas books and toys, added to each year, that we told Molly that Santa had taken with him when he came on Christmas day. But in the last couple of years it's become far more difficult. She's getting a little wise to it all now and we're both pretty convinced this will be the last year we get the whole Santa thing.
Last year was difficult. The way the house is laid out meant I had to go out through the garage, drop the bag off, hit the bell and race back inside through the garage before Molly can get to the door. But she happened to look out and almost saw me. So this year we had to do something different. The garage was out, as Mom's car is still sitting there, waiting for Dad to sort out their garage to make room for it. So there was no way to get the bage onto the step without racing round the block from the backdoor. I thought about getting a friend to put it there, but never got around to asking anyone.
So, at 9pm tonight, as we're sorting the tree out I knew I had to do something special. And then I hit on the solution. The present this year was a fairly light cuddly toy in a gift bag. My office is directly above the front door step. Put those two things together and the result is me leaning precariously out of the window, lowering the bag down to the step attached to a thin piece of cotton, which was yanked off the bag when it landed. A quick walk downstairs to help Molly set out her Advent model on the Lounge windowsill and it all works perfectly. She sees the bag, Louise and I have been in the room with her all along and the mystery is kept alive for a little while longer.
Next year? No idea.