Is Santa Real?

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately; my kids are growing too fast. The other day my daughter Jordyn and I were out, and I got to thinking about the day she asked me that dreaded question feared by all parents around the holidays: “Is Santa real?”

This question came as we walked around a department store and ooh’d and aah’d over the Christmas displays. I knew this was a test! I was being asked by my beyond-her-years daughter who already knew the answer! So, in the most casual way I could muster, I replied with that standard response I believe (or hope) most parents use when caught unprepared: “What do you think?”

“I think it’s you and Dad,” she answered. “All the kids say so, and the thought of flying reindeer is just a little too far-fetched to believe.”

Willing myself not to cry at that moment, I told her the truth: Yes, her parents may eat the cookies and leave the presents, but it’s Believing that’s the special part of Christmas. It’s Believing that puts the excitement into the preparation, the anticipation of Christmas morning, and the joy that’s shared all day long. That’s Christmas. As soon as she was satisfied with our discussion, she looked at me and asked, “Does this mean there’s no tooth fairy either?”

Now that Adam, my baby, is at that same age now, it’s sad to think I’ll be having this conversation again soon. It takes away that innocent, full-of-wonder part of the season that I find myself desperately trying to hold onto.

Editor’s Note to Santa: The opinions of this writer are not necessarily shared by the Nitty Gritty.

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