Until the Magic Disappears

9 Dec

The other day I found myself wondering – if Andrew and I don’t buy presents for the kids on Christmas – will they be there anyway? What if we test it? What if the the big guy really does exist but since we take care of the gift buying, the wrapping and the placing under the tree (we even eat the jolly old elf’s cookies that kids made for him), maybe he just doesn’t show up because he’s not needed (and we ate half of his treats)? It could be true right? If you believe?

Yeah, I must be the parent of a six and three year old. Their undoubting belief in Santa is very powerful. Nia reminds me each day that the “Elf on the Shelf” is watching and that he flies messages to Santa. When I took the kids to see Santa at the mall this year, Nate ran up to him and jumped in his lap, wrapping his arms around him. He did it without hesitation. He did it with love in his heart and excitement for the wonder that Santa brings. I stood there with tears in my eyes. Adult strangers waiting in line for their child’s photo stood there with tears in their eyes.

Christmas 2009

Nate’s reaction did more than touch my heart though, it also broke it a little. Because I know – it’s all a lie. This is not the first time I’ve expressed my concerns about telling the tale. Many of us have our cherished memories of believing in Santa but then we also have our nightmare stories about how we all “found out.” We know how old we were. We know where we found out. We still feel the twinge of pain when we think about our terrible discovery. And then, we grow up and do it to our kids!

I suppose it’s because the moments like I just experienced with Nate far outweigh the moment of “finding out.” His happiness and love for the stranger hiding behind a white beard and red velvet suit made me want to believe again. (Plus, he was a really good Santa!) Part of me hopes to find a mysterious present under the tree for me – special delivery from the North Pole.

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2 Responses to “Until the Magic Disappears”

  1. gummibunny December 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm #

    That Santa picture is so great – they both look so grown up! We have the opposite issue at our house this year – Camille is scared of Santa and has informed me that she doesn't want him to bring presents. I think if I told her the truth she'd be relieved. She already informed me that Santa didn't have to bring presents because Boo (Lee's mom) would do it instead.

  2. Scoop December 12, 2009 at 3:28 pm #

    Nikki, I recently met a mom who told her kids the details, choosing to bypass the years of fantasy and jump right into reality. I disagree. I think there is enough war, misery, global warming…bleh, reality sucks. This year has been the best so far because Andrew is so into it and his excitement is so contagious! I find myself singing Christmas music louder and smiling because it is the most wonderful time of the year. I can't wait to see his face Christmas morning and to experience being young and innocent through him. We all deserve that, even for just a few short years…Ginger – how funny! Maybe next year he'll win her over!

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