I was in first grade when I learned that there wasn’t really a Santa Claus. Seven is an awfully young age to have all of the excitement of Santa let out of your life like a balloon whirly gigging around the sky until it’s empty, lying spent on the ground.
At first I was horrified. What do you MEAN there is no Santa Claus?? “It’s true,” my best, very sage and only child, friend assured me.
I didn’t believe her. Not at all. I mean, every Christmas for as long as I could remember, we had written letters to Santa and then put them in the lit fireplace so they could wend their way to the North Pole for Santa to see. We left cookies and milk out before we went to sleep on Christmas eve and there were crumbs on the plate and a film of milk left on the glass when we got up. But the cookies and milk were gone. EVIDENCE: there IS a Santa Claus. Also, we also usually got the toys that we had asked Santa for. More evidence.
Pondering all of this, I thought I would catch her up and expose her lies. “Okay, well if there is no Santa, where do all of those toys come from?,” I asked her. “Your parents buy them for you,” she said. Now I knew she was just pulling my leg because I knew there was no way that my parents would EVER buy all of those toys for us.
The remembering and retelling of this story is funny so I was chuckling again this a.m. when I read the article about how the Obamas leave the gift giving to Santa at Christmastime.
“Malia says, ‘I know there is a Santa because there’s no way you’d buy me all that stuff.’ ”
Could that have been any closer to what I said 40+ years ago to my friend, Lisa and then my parents?
Santa is magic. Our boys believed in Santa a little bit longer than I was allowed to believe and it was not only magical for them but also for us to witness their excitement during the days leading up to and the exciting morning of Christmas.
And so, I am eagerly looking forward to our future grandchildren so we can perpetuate the magic that is Santa Claus.