Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Day Santa Stopped Being Real

I knew this day would eventually arrive. I just didn't think it would arrive so quickly. I've always been careful and a little bit sneaky because I've wanted to keep the magic alive for as long as I could. I love the magic of Christmas which includes Santa Claus. I would wrap the Santa gifts at work in a different paper than all the other gifts, and I'd keep that paper hidden. Or so I thought... I wasn't really prepared when my youngest child asked me THE question last night...

"Are you and Daddy Santa Claus? Because I see that wrapping paper with all the rest of the wrapping paper.... Santa used that same paper! Don't you lie to me!"

Yep, there's the wrapping paper. And ouch! Don't you lie to me?

I didn't want to hear that accusation because I've never viewed it as a lie. Santa is magic. You know, he's like a card trick, an illusion, smoke and mirrors. Not a lie. That's how I have always felt about bringing the spirit of Santa Claus into my house every Christmas. But she saw it as a lie, and I couldn't have that. So I told her...

"Mommy and Daddy play Santa and buy the gifts that you've received from Santa. But I don't want you to think we have been lying to you. Santa is the spirit of Christmas - love, hope, giving, and joy. Santa is magical!  We give those gifts as Santa because it's fun. We love to see your face light up on Christmas morning. And as long as you believe in the true spirit of Christmas, you'll continue to receive gifts from Santa. Let me ask you this... What if you never received a gift from Santa?"

She really didn't like the thought of that. She realized that it's better to have experienced the magic than to have never experienced the magic at all. But I could tell she desperately wanted Santa to be real. For nine years he was, and she was sad to hear the truth. I have to be honest; I was sad too. My little girl is growing up. Will Christmas be as magical as it was before?

I think so...

"And one day you'll be Santa for your kids, and you will absolutely love it. You'll teach them to believe in something they can't see. You'll teach them to have faith. You'll teach them about giving from the heart and love. And those are the most important life lessons you could ever teach your children. Santa may not be a real person, but what he stands for is absolutely real."

She gave me a hug and told me she wished she could stay little forever. Oh sweetie, you have no idea how much I wish that too.


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