Miracles and Santa

I never believed in Santa.  I can’t say that with 100% confidence, but there is not a single point in my life where I actually remember believing that Santa exists (if you are reading this and are under the age of 10, he does exist, I just didn’t know it at the time).  My parents would play lip service to Santa, but it was never wholehearted.  I don’t know if they broke it to me at an early age, or if I just didn’t believe it.

Because of that, I have never been much of a fan of Santa.  It feels so dishonest to perpetuate this lie that we know will be spoiled some day (hopefully when they are old enough to understand why it was perpetuated in the first place).  But I recognize that I probably feel this way because I never got the magic of Santa.  I never felt the anticipation on Christmas Eve because of Santa.  Erin remembers feeling that, and she loved it, so we’ve agreed that we’ll do that whole Santa thing with the kids.

Anyway, Stephanie and I were talking about something silly (I don’t even remember what) the other day and I made a bad joke (as I frequently do) about something being a “Christmas Miracle.”  It was something that was clearly not a miracle, but Stephanie had never heard the word miracle.  So, as she so always does when she hears a new word, she said “Daddy, what’s a mmmmiracle?”  She savored the M for a moment.

“Well, a miracle is when something impossible happens,” I reply.

“?” She silently questioned.

“When something happens that you never thought could happen,” I tried again.

“Oh.”

“Okay, so can you think of something that seems like it would be really unlikely…something that just doesn’t seem possible?”  This is my third effort, sometimes it takes many more rounds to get a concept through in language she can grasp, but it’s totally worth the effort.

She offered, “Well, like Santa flying to every house on Christmas Eve?”

“YES!” I exclaimed.  “That IS a miracle!”  I was simultaneously thrilled that she got the concept of a miracle (I think), and that she was able to understand the illogic of Santa Claus.  I expected her to follow up with “Why ‘that IS a miracle’?” but she didn’t.  She believes in Santa Claus and I didn’t discourage it.  If she has a chance to experience the anticipation that Erin remembers so fondly, I want her to have that.

So I encouraged my child to believe in a lie.  I hope it’s worth it.

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One response to this post.

  1. i loved santa so much i believed in him until the 5th grade and i turned out 97% ok. Have fun and happy holidays!!!

    Reply

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