Is Santa Real?

“Is Santa Real?” she asks me from the backseat last August. It was a bright, sunny, summer day and we were driving home from setting up my classroom. Totally out of the blue, caught entirely off guard, my only response could be “Why do you ask?”
“Well, because he has to go to all those places in one night, how would he do that?”
Like any good, honest, self-respecting, trying to keep their child believing just one more year parent would do–I dodge the question. “How do you think he does it?”
“With magic.”
“His sleigh must be powerful. Let’s think of all the cool gadgets it must have.”
“Sure, but is Santa real?”
CRUD—She will not be deterred. So I dodge again.
“I believe he is real. Grandma still has presents deliver to her house for me from Santa. What makes you wonder?”
“You and Daddy don’t get anything at Christmas from him. Why not? Doesn’t he give to everybody?”
“He knows we want our presents to go to all the children in the world, so he doesn’t spend any money on us.”
“MOM!! Santa doesn’t buy presents, he makes them. Is he real?”
At this point, I realize that she is smart. My daughter is much smarter and more aware than I have previously given her credit. She is 9 and about to enter 4th grade. Believe or don’t believe territory. Someone will spill the snowflakes at some point in the next year or so and she will know the truth. I have dodged twice, at this point I am backed into an icicle with no warmth in sight. So I go with the truth.
“Honey, I am Santa.”
I see her face, briefly, in the rearview mirror. She looks hurt and confused, like her worst fear has just been confirmed. And the conversation rests. She has her answer whether she likes it or not. I would guess NOT because for the rest of the year she was determined to prove me wrong. She would not share with me what she asked Santa for. She would not share with her grandparents either because “they will tell mommy.” When she did share, it was for things that she knew no one could possibly get her, ie. last year’s American Girl Girl of the Year Doll.
She was happy on Christmas morning, ecstatic even. She got everything she wanted, and none of it was the hard to find stuff she was faking us out with. But today, the conversation began again. “Mommy I really want the Ever After High Doll for my birthday but Daddy can’t find it at target. It is discontinued. If I don’t get it for my birthday, I will ask Santa for it at Christmas.”
Someone somewhere please spill the snowflakes because she doesn’t believe me.

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3 thoughts on “Is Santa Real?

  1. Our daughters should have a pow wow. I have been able to dodge the inquisition for at least a year, as I actually know “Santa”, and have thus been able to produce the man in question with relative ease. My daughter asked my hubby the same, direct question, just after Christmas, and he answered it truthfully. She was crushed, and continues to share her dissappointment in us whenever the subject comes up. She recently concluded that I have probably been lying to her about the Easter bunny as well, but she still expects a basket and an egg hunt.

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