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Is Santa Real?

Mom, is Mrs. Santa real?

Those words stopped me in my proverbial tracks, sucked the very breath from my lungs, and ended the childhood of my first born.

Is Santa real?
Grace drew our front door.

I mean, it would have ended her childhood, except that I lied.

“Of course she's real, baby. Why do you ask?”

She shrugged. I dunno. Are you sure she's real?

“Yep. She's real.”

And then we stared each other down, both waiting for the other to blink, both giving the hairy eyeball.

I'm pretty sure she knows.

Earlier this week, I told my mom that I was afraid this would be her last year for Santa, the last year she would believe.

I've seen Grace eying me suspiciously. She'd found a couple of gifts that I'd tried to hide in the shopping cart at Target, and I think I've asked one too many questions about the gifts she's hoping Mrs. Santa will bring.

It's been a long time since she's cried No Santa! No Santa!

But then, I think she still wants to believe.

She talks about Mrs. Santa every day. She wants to go see Mr. Santa and have her picture taken. She thinks about reindeer and elves and presents. Every day, she looks under the Christmas tree to see if Mrs. Santa has come.

I'm not sure if she really believes or if she really knows the truth or if her little brilliant brain is even complex enough to understand the difference.

The whole thing makes me sad. I want her to be young and innocent and unaware.

I'm sad that she's growing up too fast. I'm sad that there are things she doesn't tell me because she wants me to be happy. I'm sad that she's reading and writing and that some day, she will know for sure.

For now, I'm leaving presents out now and then, pretending that Mrs. Santa stopped by unexpectedly. I'm being as stealthy as possible.

And I'm lying as convincingly as I can manage.

© 2011 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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3 thoughts on “Is Santa Real?”

  1. Knowing who fills the stockings and not believing in Santa are two different things. The magic of Christmas is always alive for those who believe. I think finding a way to describe the difference to a small inquisitive child is difficult, though.

    That being said, I think I was about 8 by the time I really figured it out. I remember my younger sister coming to me when I was about 10 (she was 7) asking about Santa. I just said “What do you think?” She had figured it out & we decided together to keep up the act. We loved the fun of it AND we also thought we’d get less presents if it was revealed that we knew the truth. To this day, my parents still fill our stockings, Santa writes a note, and we leave cookies out for Santa.

  2. Have you heard of the the book – The Santa Club. I am anticipating the question very soon and just found this book this year. I have a copy waiting for when the time comes. It’s an awesome way, in my opininion, to handle the quesiton and keep some of the magic.

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