When my daughter was in nursery school, I attended meetings with other moms who, like me, were active participants in the co-op school environment. I don’t remember how the topic came up, but during one group discussion, we shared stories of family holiday traditions.
One mother who had three young sons excitedly relayed the lengths to which she and her husband went to convince her boys that Santa had indeed visited their home on Christmas Eve. They provided the usual clues, of course. A plate of cookies, freshly baked, and a glass of milk left on the mantel, which by morning became crumbs strewn about the dish and a bare puddle of milk left in the glass. But that was only the beginning. The father got up in the middle of the night and made gentle noises on the roof to suggest the arrival of animals pulling a sled. (I can’t remember whether or not he actually climbed on the roof to do it, but I don’t think he went that far.) The mother sprinkled soot around the fireplace and Christmas tree as evidence of Santa’s journey down their chimney. Someone embedded at least one hoof print in the yard to mark where a reindeer must have trod.