If you subscribe to my newsletter, you will have received a Wyers Christmas Story at the beginning of the month.

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For today’s post, I wanted to share a special Christmas memory from a few years ago. ‘Tis the season!

A Wyers Christmas Story

The first Christmas we had as a family of four was in 2017. We had been home from the hospital with Maverick for four days, most of which I’d spent lying in bed, resting, hoping for a speedy recovery and easy healing.

Archer, who was 3.5 at the time, was still in day care, but since it was the Friday before Christmas, we dressed the kids in festive jammies and headed to Coquitlam Centre before dropping him off. Mall pictures with Santa and our two boys.

In my postpartum haze, I hadn’t realized that it was also Christmas jammie day at day care, so we changed Archer before taking him to day care and coming home with baby Maverick. Archer didn’t seem too fussed on the fact that he had missed an opportunity to wear his special pajamas at day care that day; they’d still had treats and watched movies, two important things on the toddler scale of happiness. He was, however, upset to the point of crying when Brad brought him home that afternoon. I remember him coming into my dimly-lit bedroom, Maverick sleeping next to me in that cuddled newborn pose with his arms clenched under his chin, his body still unravelling from being cramped underneath my ribs, which he had kicked frequently.

It was already dark outside, the early winter night started before we’d even thought of what we were going to have for dinner.

“What’s wrong?” I asked Archer, sliding down from the bed to give him a hug.

He sniffled a few times, holding out a small, red and green-cellophane-wrapped gift complete with curled ribbons. “I forgot to give this to Santa,” he said in a tiny voice, still crying, but able to speak.

I didn’t know what it was and briefly worried that I had forgotten something else holiday or child-related.

“What is it?” I asked gently, hoping that I wasn’t supposed to know what it was.

“It’s …” he tried. “It’s for …”

I nodded at him encouragingly, waiting for his response.

“It’s for Santa. And we didn’t give it to him when we saw him this morning!”

My mama heart still swells at the memory, of the innocence my young son had in the moment, the generosity of his heart, whether the gift had been orchestrated by someone else or not. He was heartbroken that we hadn’t taken the gift when we went to see Santa that morning, even though I hadn’t even known of the gift’s existence at the time.

I hugged him as he cried some more small sniffles that were just as heart-wrenching as the sobs that can come at a scuffed knee or a dropped cookie. Those tears were different than the ones that fell on our bedroom floor; Archer was experiencing disappointment in wanting to do something kind for someone else.

His generous heart was breaking amidst the magic of Christmas.

I remember thinking that I wanted to bottle that feeling I had for him; empathy for his broken heart, his innocence and his special feelings as they were just then, in that quiet moment, just him and I, his brother sleeping nearby. I hugged him tighter and promised him that it was okay, that we would leave the present out for Santa with his milk and cookies—and carrots for the reindeer—on Christmas Eve. He was quickly relieved of his tears, wanting to see his baby brother before heading back downstairs to watch a show.

How quickly we forget.

I still have the present in my nightstand, where I put it after Archer left the room. I remember that I opened it once, to see what it was, but I can’t remember what he made for Santa any more. Maybe I'll do something with it someday, but as it stands right now, I cherish the memory and the secret Santa present as much as I cherish the magic of Christmas.

Our Visit with Santa (2017)

May your season shine bright, especially in this crazy time. Always remember the true meaning of Christmas, the one that you won’t find with a pretty ribbon beneath the tree. That’s the moral of A Wyers Christmas Story. 🙂

Stay warm and safe,

Anya

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