I went to visit my mom for her 90th birthday and the family did a lot of reminiscing. Funny thing I got to thinking and realized my mom taught me everything I need to know to recognize a conspiracy. We grew up one notch below dirt poor. My mom loved to grow things and desperately tried to grow anything on the clay, shale, rock piece of earth we called home. If we had made it up to dirt poor, there probably would have been enough dirt to grow something and we would have been better off.
Still once a year she did everything she could to make Christmas a joy to the world. In her heart, she knew that her four kids would resist the fasting in preparation for and the attendance at Midnight Mass before the calibration would begin in earnest. Of course she knew her husband would be off getting drunk and would come home and pass out before the celebration began but she still conspired to create the greatest memories possible for her kids. In my mind, the feast and gifts were endless and the party lasted till dawn.
I don’t know where she found the time, energy or resources to pull it off but I’m sure she relied on friends and neighbors to help and in his own way, my father probably did too. I mean she would start planning from about Labor Day on and knew where to hide the presents, where the tree would be and how big she wanted it.
From the beginning, I knew that a conspiracy involved two sets of rules, one for those who knew (or knew just a little bit) and another set for the clueless masses. Over the years, the players would change but she was the only one who knew all the rules and she would share them on an as needed basis. As we grew older, and started to understand that there was no Santa, she started to include us in the bigger picture to fool the uninitiated. When we were all old enough to understand her game, she would form various alliances so that there would be one major surprise for everyone on Christmas Eve.
So after a lifetime legacy of Mom’s Homegrown Christmas Conspiracy, I have come to realize that in an Internet world where everybody has full access to full knowledge, the only reason you can’t find out something is because there is a conspiracy to block access and the flow of knowledge.