Updated: Mar 25, 2022
Looking to add magic to your children’s lives? In this series, I'll share how you can create special childhood memories. In part one, I share a unique Secret Santa story.
I am a busy parent of an almost-three-year-old boy. Sometimes, during my son's naptime, instead of doing what I am supposed to be doing (housework), I waste a little time on the internet - I browse social media, watch YouTube videos, and scroll through Reddit posts. I do this to take a break from having to do anything and pass the time. Most of what I read and watch during these breaks is pretty forgettable, except when I came across this *gem* of a story on Reddit, which got me thinking about how I could add some magic to my son's life.
Once upon a Reddit...
I can't find that particular Reddit post (if I ever do, I'll link it to this blog post), but the story has stayed with me for days: a Redditor explained that as a four-year-old boy (let's call him Mickey), he went to the mall with his father to visit Santa before Christmas. To Mickey's surprise and joy, Santa gave him the same toy he had been pining. At the time, of course, Mickey did not know that his dad had given mall Santa his son's gift earlier in the day. Later, when he was a little older, Mickey found out what his dad did.
The dinosaur in the basement
The gift was a small dinosaur that Mickey now keeps in his basement. It reminds him of that special moment and his dad's act of love. Mickey's story touched my heart; I thought ahead to when my son would be older and hoped my son would remember that I love him. And that as the years passed, he would also have long cherished memories of me. To be sure, I tell my son that I love him every day, but how can I *show* him in very memorable yet simple ways that he's my special little guy?
When memories start
I am no child psychologist or neuroscientist, so my knowledge of this is pretty sketchy, but the little research I have done reveals that kids' memories get more frequent, detailed, and adult-like at about three years old. My son is approaching that age, and the Reddit story has inspired me to find meaningful ways to introduce special moments into his life. (If your child is older, it's never too late to start).
The little things
Mickey's story shows that it doesn't take much effort to make a great impression on your child. All Mickey's father did was buy a gift he knew his son wanted and instruct Santa in advance to give the gift to his son when they visited later. It's also clear from Mickey's story that it doesn't take much money either: as a busy parent on a budget, this is music to my ears! In this series of posts, I will share the cool ideas I find to ensure your child experiences magical moments during childhood, just like Mickey. The first way, of course, is to try out the Santa trick this coming Christmas!