I feel like I should write something in the spirit of the holidays, being that I’m the last bad girl to blog before our annual holiday break. You’ve already seen the best gifts to give the writer in your life, and I wrote the funny twelve days of Christmas adaptation last year. So this year, I decided to go off the cuff and just tell you a little holiday story.
We’re driving home from dinner tonight when my youngest daughter turns to me and asks, “Mommy, do you still believe in Santa?”
“Of course, I do,” I say. “Don’t you?”
“Part of me does and part of me doesn’t.”
“Well, what part of you doesn’t?” I ask.
And then the tears come. “It just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t see how reindeer can fly, or how he gets to all those houses every night. And sometimes he gets me things that I don’t ask him for.”
“Magic,” I say.
She raises her brow. “Magic isn’t real. I’ve seen Now You See Me!”
That’s it. I have GOT to quit letting her watch PG-13 movies.
I can’t blame her, really. She gets it’s honestly. I’m a logical thinker and I use logic when trying to explain things to my kids because I want them to be logical thinkers too. I don’t want them to grow up blindly to the ways of the world. It’s why I think we should keep score in sports, and why I don’t believe that everyone should get a trophy.
But I digress, this is about a little girl believing in Santa Clause.
I’ll admit, this one took me back a little. Here I am, a spinner of stories and make believe, but I couldn’t find the words to spin my way out of this one. Instead, I found myself skirting around the issue, answering questions with questions, and avoiding it all together. I don’t remember ever having the Santa conversation with my parents, and I never had it with my oldest daughter either. So what do I do? Do I lie – something I told myself I’d never do when the time came? Or do I break my little girl’s heart – something I also told myself I’d never do?
So, I did what any mother would do – I waited for my daughter to get into the shower and I called my husband.
“Tell her Santa is more of a state of mind than a physical being,” he says.
Yeah. That clears it right up. Then I’ll pass her the peace pipe and we can sing Kumbaya. She’s NINE, for crying out loud! She doesn’t know what a state of mind is!
In the end, we decided I would stall a little more, and then we would find a way to talk to her together once he came home. Luckily, by the time my daughter was finished with her shower, she had already decided Santa had to be real because, “NASA tracks his sleigh every year, and they wouldn’t waste that kind of money on something that wasn’t real.”
It took everything in me not to tell her my theory about the whole moon landing debacle.
I’m not sure if she really does still believe, or if she saw me fumbling over the question and decided to throw me a bone. But I do know that I’m content to go with it for now. I figure, what’s so wrong with letting her believe in it anyway?
After all, I sit in my office for hours having conversations with imaginary people.
How did you handle the Santa question? I’d love to hear your thoughts!