Go with the Chlo: Dedication behind Christmas goes unnoticed too often


Chloe Meredith , Managing Editor


I was nine when I finally faced the fact that the beloved Santa Claus was indeed nonexistent, and I had stumbled (perhaps I didn’t “stumble”) upon the massive heap of wrapped presents in my parents’ closet prior to Christmas morning, ranging from small, simple gift bags to huge, carefully wrapped presents. Crushed, I came face to face with the reality that I had been living a lie my whole life. So when I came downstairs that Christmas, I had already expected what presents were going to be waiting for me under the tree.

What I didn’t expect was the life lesson from that came with the presents that Christmas.

That Christmas brought a newfound appreciation for my parents, for the hard work that they put into the holidays. As I got older and watched “Santa Claus” bring presents in the dead of the night for my little brother to open in the early morning, I realized the incredibly hard work that went into holding up the cherished tradition. My parents were so concerned to make sure us children were taken care of and happy during the holidays, and by believing Santa was real, I was distracted from this. I never witnessed the relentless Christmas shopping my mom did or the tedious amount of wrapping presents my dad endured. The dedication that went into the ridiculously late nights spent to bring us joy in the morning will always be remembered.

When I was 7, I received the absolute best gift ever for Christmas: an antique German porcelain baby doll. A week earlier, I had seen this doll and fallen in love with it at a shop down the road. It was so beautiful and precious to me, and I couldn’t imagine life without it. I didn’t even outright tell my mom about it, I had just hoped it would somehow fall into my lap. Sure enough, a week later, my dream gift was waiting for me. I later found out my mom had dropped me off at home after a whole day of shopping and running errands with my dad to hurriedly make it back in time to nab the doll before the store closed. It was the most meaningful gift I had ever received, and after later finding out what my mom did to get the doll makes it even more meaningful.

Furthermore, the appreciation I had for the determined Santa-facade expands over everything my parents have done for me. Behind every act of kindness, is a million little sacrifices my parents made to ensure I was safe and genuinely happy. I am forever grateful for the amount of effort that went into raising me, and I’m not going to lie, it took an enormous amount.

My parents took time off work – precious

money-making time – for when I was ill and had to miss school. My parents busted their butts to get me to school functions on time. My parents invested so much money for every single extracurricular activity I ever participated in. My parents have done so much for me, and I will always appreciate them.

Now, parents may not always be the best role models or make the best decisions, mine included, but that doesn’t mean they have never made sacrifices. Besides abusive and manipulative situations, it’s important to appreciate even the littlest of efforts to better our lives. Parents that care sacrifice their own comfort and safety to ensure we are taken care of. This holiday season, please take a step back and appreciate the big and little things our parents and guardians have done for us.