This is one of my favorite traditions. And it seems that every year it comes up right smack in the throes of PMS. So of course I teared up multiple times this morning. There’s something about the innocence and the pure unadulterated joy in seeing Santa that gets to me.
I know, too, that however real St. Nick was as a historical figure, my kids are on the verge of knowing the truth. And I think it might break my heart more than it will theirs. I really do hope we can get another few years in before they figure it out.
The funny thing is, I don’t remember ever being traumatized as a kid by the discovery. There’s a picture of me on Santa’s lap crying my eyes out at about 4 years old. The thing about that picture is that the man in the Santa suit was my dad (I’ll see if my mom can scan a copy). What I do know is that by the time my brother came along (I was 6 1/2) I knew what was up. And I worked really hard to keep the mystique going for his sake. But I don’t remember any big meltdown once he figured it out either.
I know there are people who are against the whole Santa charade. But I believe. I believe that even once you figure out that the guy in the mall doesn’t really ride in a sleigh with a bunch of reindeer and deliver toys all over the world in one night, there’s value in having believed in that. Believing in Santa is believing that everyone has the chance to be on the “nice” list. Believing in Santa is believing that one person can change the world, even if it’s only for a few hours on Christmas morning.
Believing in Santa is believing that all you have to do is whisper your wish and on December 25th it shows up under the tree.