With four kids, the excitement has been, I say 'has been' as in previously, not this time... at an all time high at Christmas. We have, like millions of other families, trained our angels to BELIEVE in the magic of Santa.
Well...I have trained them, my husband is a scientist and would do no such thing, he is a believer in FACT, he demands it. I, as a writer of fiction, demand suspended disbelief and imaginary everything and lots and lots of making-things-up.
As a couple we are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Two years ago we, as guardians, welcomed Yolani (14) into our home. She came from the Marshall Islands and had never heard of Santa Clause. I tried to train her in the magic of Santa. Like a quick 101 in preparation for her first Christmas.
She's a very loving girl and sat and listened with a smile to her new mother's stories.
"If you believe, Yolani, look at me... in the eye. OK, if you can believe that there's a man, a big man, with a white beard and a red suit and he sits in a sleigh, that's like a car without wheels... but open and, oh never mind, and he's pulled around the sky by flying reindeer...they are like big dogs or small horses, if you can just picture this for a minute, love, cos your new little sister...she does believe, we all do, kinda, (don't mind your new father, he's a little special,) well anyway, this fat man shows up, and brings gifts...to children all over the world... and he comes down the chimney," I said.
"But..he didn't come to my island?"
"Well, silly...that's because you didn't BELIEVE."
"Ok, so if I believe him..."
"Wait, believe IN him, that he exists. Not believe him, he actually won't say anything."
"Ok, if I believe IN him, he'll fill my stocking with gifts?"
She went out and bought a stocking the size of herself, huge, she's super bright.
This is now her third Christmas and she has played along great. Until....this year. This year it is the end, the final act after seventeen years, the curtain has come down, it's the end of the road for my in-house play.
Our youngest, Grace, (9) declares herself her father's daughter.
"I don't believe in Santa."
"Quell Horror?" I said. "But why, come on, it's magical, don't you love waking up Christmas morning?"
"MOM, I'm not stupid you know, we don't even have a chimney."
So there it is, we have an outed denier, a self-declared fact-checker and fact-lover and fact-sayer....oh how they haunt me. I have to face Yolani today and tell her what she already knows.
Her father is right.
(Happy Christmas celebrations to everyone and big hearty healthy wishes for 2016 from our family)
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