Thursday, July 30, 2015

How the parents saved Christmas (in July)

We learned a very valuable RV life lesson last weekend that I must share. We decided to spend one night at our 'local' campground, Dunromin, in Granville Ferry. It was a Saturday night, so we knew it would be busy, but we had no idea that we were arriving during 'Christmas in July', which turned out to be a particularly big night for the campground. I noticed on the daily event board while we were driving in that Santa was arriving at the playground at 8:00. When I paid for our site, I confirmed this with the worker who told me that Santa would be in fact be there that night with presents for all the kids. Wow, I thought to myself, Caleb is going to loooove this and how generous of them to hand out a candy cane or dollar store item to each kid. When I told Caleb, he couldn't believe his luck. Santa? Here? Tonight! With presents?!?! Amazing!! I overheard him excitedly discussing this with the kids on the playground all day. At supper he told me that Santa was here last year, too, and that he arrives on a golf cart!

Earlier in the evening
By 7:45, the playground was buzzing. I have no idea where all these children came from, but there seemed to be about 80 of them all sporting their little Santa hats and elf pyjamas. Alan and I watched as Caleb tried to act calm while he paced by the road watching and waiting for the magical golf cart to pull up. At 8:00 sharp, the big man arrived towing a trailer full of gifts. He merrily jumped out of the cart waving hello and seated himself on an oversized adirondack chair in the centre of the playground. The chair was probably built solely for this annual celebration. Caleb watched in awe, and was the first child seated directly beside Santa's shiny black boots. At 8:01, my heart sunk as I realized that the gifts were definitely not dollar store items. These were REAL gifts. Big and wrapped in festive paper. These gifts were definitely not from the campground staff, but from parents. Parents who were not newbies to this whole 'Christmas in July' at a campground experience. These parents, unlike us, had come well prepared for this event.

I looked up in terror at Caleb, who was watching with big bright eyes as Santa started calling out names on each of the packages, knowing that there was definitely not a parcel with his name on that trailer. Alan and I stared at each other, shaking our heads. We were about to watch our little boy gets his heart completely crushed. We knew we could not stand by and let that happen. I threw Odin in the stroller, asked Alan to stand guard and be ready to comfort Caleb in case I didn't get back in time. I literally ran to the campground office to see what items I could purchase and find a way to sneak back into Santa's stash. $6.25 later, I was armed with a glow stick, a flimsy frisbee, a $1 Surprise Bag and a bag of rock candy. I explained the urgency of the situation to the worker, and he kindly 'wrapped' my parcel in a plastic bag and wrote Caleb's name on it. I sprinted back to the playground, snuck up to Santa's helper and handed her my package just in time. There were only about 6 kids left when Caleb's name was called out. He jumped up, no longer able to contain his excitement, and was handed his plastic bag. Thankfully he didn't seem to notice the lack of wrapping paper. He opened up the gift and was overjoyed with all of the contents. A surprise bag?!? A glowstick?!? Oh, Santa, you really out did yourself this time!

And that, my friends, is how the parents saved Christmas in July.

Stepping up to receive his gift!


Anonymous said...

What great parents you both are. It also helps that Caleb finds joy in the little things in life.

beaner said...

Great work Ashley!!!

Kathy said...

What a great story! You saved the day and those sound like the perfect things for Caleb :-) Glad you are enjoying Sunny, we miss you guys!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful story! I love happy endings!


Teresa McEachern said...

Hohoho. Great stuff Santa parents!!

RJ Davis 315 Duncan's Cove said...

Hi Ashley,

I love this narrative! Wonderful! Great job! I often think of your young family, and the early time you shared in Duncan's Cove. Caleb's Tree is thriving and already wanting the community path to come round and accommodate it's growth. I walk the path 2-3 times daily and wonder how fast a seedling becomes a tree. Not long! I hope you will wander by some time so that Caleb may show Odin his tree. Cheers to all of you!