Wednesday, December 15, 2010
"Mom, is Santa real?"
I was wondering if this would be the year she asked. She's ten years old and it's probably natural that she would put two and two together by now. Besides, she and her friends talk about this stuff at school. The catalyst for this conversation was her telling me that one of her friends saw her mom putting presents under the tree.
Instead of coming out with a straight, "No, Santa is not real," I decided to take a different approach. I told her about St. Nicolas and how the legend had sort of evolved over the years into its present-day belief.
But I wanted to make sure that she understood one thing. "The spirit of Santa Claus is very real," I told her. "The man himself might not be, but the spirit of giving is."
Then I kissed her goodnight, turned on her CD of music from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and quickly left before she could see my tears.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried. Part of her childhood is forever gone. But that is how it must be. I will miss preparing the elaborate notes from Santa on Christmas Eve and seeing her excitement at the presents he brought her on Christmas morning. But I will always have the memories.