Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus," is a Line That Never Worked on Me

It's true. For whatever reason, my cynical little brain just couldn't grasp the concept of a fat man in a red suit squeezing himself down chimneys to deliver gifts to kids from Connecticut to Zimbabwe. I used to think this was because my parents once took my sister and me Christmas shopping with them when we were really little because they couldn't find a sitter. To this day, I can still see the top of the Barbie dream house box jutting out of the trunk through the back window of their blue Pontiac 6000. But I think my skepticism had bloomed long before that night, because I remember the incident as more of a confirmation of something I'd already suspected than as a shocking revelation. (Mom and Dad, you can breathe a sigh of relief.)

My knowledge was harmless enough until the day I decided to clue in my sister. I was five and she was three, and we were sitting in the backseat of my mother's car waiting for her to come out of the house. And I just blurted out that there was no Santa Claus. I don't know why I said it. But I do know that I couldn't be stopped. I went on to divulge the truth about the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, dethroning the entire trifecta of lovable, gift-giving characters in one fell swoop. I don't think my sister cried. But she did keep insisting that I was wrong.

The damage had been done.

After relaying this story to the bf, he asked what I planned to tell our future children about jolly old St. Nicholas. I had to think about it for a few minutes but finally decided that I wouldn't say anything at all, letting them draw their own conclusions. Then, if one of them asked me directly, I could be all cagey and say something like, "Well, I don't know, Penelope. Do you think it's possible for one man to deliver gifts to billions of children in one night?" Then little Penny would probably burst into tears and run off to tell all the other children, making me the scourge of the neighborhood.

On second thought, maybe I'd better just go with the lie.

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