Growing up I remember the Christmas that I realized Santa used the same wrapping paper as Mom and Dad... and had the same handwriting. It must have been around the second or third grade. The next year I was stealthy in my shopping picking up secret presents for everyone including myself, nothing big but little things and I wrapped them with paper I bought. We lived in a house in Alaska that we built, complete with wooden steps... I remember going up and down those steps and learning where to step so they wouldn't make noise... and I planned how to stay awake long after everyone else was asleep so that I could deliver my own Santa gifts to the family.
This act probably says a lot about my personality that I don't really want to analyse.
However, in trying to preserve the holiday for my child, I continue to purchase paper and hide it each year, donating the unused portion back to schools or other places. While Santa in our house typically doesn't wrap many gifts, he un-boxes things like barbies and sets them up, installing all the batteries when needed, and recycles the packaging ahead of time. This year the request was made for Santa to WRAP everything... *sigh* apparently Santa wasn't busy enough this year!
So this was the year in the rush I forgot to stick everything back in the closet one day, and my child saw it. The paper that is. I didn't say anything and just bundled up all the wrapping supplies and put them away. Hoping she wasn't paying attention. Only to have her ask that dreaded question Christmas morning... Mom... why did Santa use OUR paper?
There are time when I wish my child wasn't so observant and smart.
I tried to explain that I knew Santa was extra busy and since he doesn't normally wrap all the gifts I had purchased extra paper for him to use... just in case. Turns out he used it! She looked at me with that "I know your lying to me... but I'm going to let you think I believe you look" and we left it at that. I am so sad that shes that much closer to figuring out the secret of holiday magic.
On the flip side, everything she sees and hears melts into her brain. I am extremely lucky to have such a smart child. She has extreme empathy towards animals and is learning some hard facts about life and how other people are not as lucky as we are. She requested that I find a animal rescue for people to donate money to instead of always giving her gifts a few days ago. I couldn't be more proud of my smart cookie!