If you still believe in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny, read no further.
There were three questions I just couldn’t take from our 8 year old, Andy, any longer:
1.) Why can’t I defend Santa’s honor? I’m not trying to get in fights but there are so many unbelievers at that school, it’s ridiculous!
2.) Why can’t I ask for crazy expensive toys? What’s it to you? Santa will just have his elves make them for me at no cost.
and 3.) Why do we have to give to the poor so they’ll have a nice Christmas? Doesn’t Santa just take care of that?
How much longer could I let this go on?
And then shortly after Christmas, Andy was on a Lego kick. He wanted more, he wanted the best, he wanted the biggest. When he saw just how much those plastic bricks cost he almost passed out. (Three digits.)
After brainstorming money earning ideas with him all afternoon, he finally took a cleansing breath of relief and announced, “It’s okay mom, I don’t have to earn or save a dime. Santa will just get them for me next Christmas.” That’s when I knew it was time.
My husband and I called him in for a private conference.
“We need to tell you something about Santa Claus,” Paul began.
“He’s not real, is he…” It was like he already knew it was too good to be true. His little shoulders slumped.
“Well, yes and no,” I jumped in. “He used to be real. There really was a old St. Nicolas who used to bring toys to little children on Christmas Eve. But when he died, no parent had the heart to tell their little ones it was all over, so they starting putting out the toys to keep the fun tradition alive. And then it kind of snowballed. The tradition got passed down, generation after generation. And now we are passing it down to you. Welcome to Team Santa!”
“It’s time you joined the ranks. Dad and I need your help distracting the little kids when we need to stash away toys. We need your help wrapping up their presents and basically creating Christmas magic!
“Santa Claus is the way we can be super duper generous with other people anonymously. We just say it’s from Santa! It’s so fun. Are you in?”
“Wait…” I could see his wheels turning. “Does this mean….the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy?”
He thought for a moment longer.
“Okay, I’m in.”
Just this past Easter, after the other kids had all gone to bed, Andy burst into our room, hurdled himself over the mountain of laundry and plopped himself onto our big bed.
“What do we do first? Where are the eggs? Where’s the candy hidden. He he he he he…” He was absolutely giddy with excitement. He was so proud to be part of the behind the scenes crew. We hadn’t taken any of the magic away. He loved making the magic!
But we still waited until he was asleep before we set out his own loot. Fantasy and surprise are not the same thing.