He Just Might Believe

Our oldest son hasn’t believed in Santa for the past two Christmases. He was eight when he flat out declared: “Santa isn’t real Mom. It just doesn’t make any sense.” I neither confirmed or denied his statement and continued doing whatever I was doing at that moment trying to maintain my balance as I felt the ground of his childhood shift. Four years. That’s all it was just four years of unbridled Christmas belief in Santa Claus. What began at four years old was over by the time he turned eight.

We haven’t officially revisited the Santa conversation. Instead we’ve adopted the military mantra of “don’t ask, don’t tell. He doesn’t ask so I don’t tell. Sure I could tell him that Santa isn’t real, but I firmly believe in Christmas. All sorts of miracles happen during the season and I embrace all of it. It doesn’t matter that I fill the stockings, put the presents under the tree and eat the cookies. Christmas morning, when the living room is bathed in that early morning predawn light, I truly believe we’ve been graced by another presence. It’s simply magical.

This year our ten-year-old, non-believing son put together quite a list of gifts he wanted. Of course he didn’t write a letter to Santa, but instead created a Dick’s Sporting Goods online wish list. It was very specific. He wanted Nike Soldier VIII LeBron James hightop sneakers, an Under Armor compression shirt and an official San Francisco 49ers winter hat. I took one look at the list and told him to send it to Santa because we weren’t buying any of it. WHAT!?! That’s right. Let’s review. Your father works for New Balance so you can rule out Nike and Under Armor. And as for the 49ers hat, this is New England Patriot territory so that’s a no too! (Bah-humbug) He knew his list was a long shot but he kept it just the same. And I had great fun reminding him of our alliance to New Balance. “I hope you sent your list to Santa because no one here is buying Nike or Under Armor.”

He never sent the letter to the North Pole but Santa came through for him. He got all the items on his list and was in a state of bliss and shock for most of the morning. (Nahnie and Grampa bought the 49ers hat). “I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it! This is the best Christmas ever!” His joy was palpable.

It’s hard to believe in things unseen. It’s even harder to believe in things illogical. But momentarily suspending disbelief can yield such joy. Our son’s wish list was fulfilled and that Christmas morning he believed in the magic of Christmas and experienced its joy. Those presents were our gifts to him, but the purity of his joy was a gift to us.

That joy is the magic of Christmas that keeps us all believing.

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