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I was Santa this year.

She is six, she knows Santa, she knows how it works. For me, however, it was a first. New traditions to learn, new traditions to make, and a new life building. I've been here almost a year now; sometimes it feels like I've been here forever, and other times that I've just arrived. The paradox often overwhelms me.

These last few weeks have been exhausting. How does "Santa Wrap" work? How many are from me, how many are from Santa? Do adults get Santa Wrap? Does everyone get separate Santa Wrap? Are stocking stuffers Santa Wrapped? Are gift tags placed upon Santa Wrapped packages? How do I smuggle in bags of presents? When do I gift wrap them? When can I buy them? The questions, concerns, and worries mount. After all, would you want to be the one who's blundering reveals there is no Santa?

Eventually all was worked out. Due to logistics, the king daddy present was given early, but no impact was lost due to this fact. Secretly I still wish that we could have worked it so that she awoke to a kitten in a bow, or a box that meowed. She went to bed late, late last night. She was overly excited by the season and the prospect of her new kitty sleeping with her.

Santa was tired by the time the little one finally fell to sleep, and then I had to wait longer while last minute presents, for me, were being wrapped. Finally all the hidden presents were pulled out, cookies deposited back safely in the jar, stockings hung on the chimney with care, and the sliding door safely relocked after "Santa's" departure. The time was 2:30, and I was well ready for my bed.

"IT'S CHRISTMAS!"

That cry went up at 8...much later than I thought it would, thankfully. And it was Christmas, like I've never had it before. And it was wonderful.