Do I believe in Santa Claus? You bet!
There's nothing like seeing the wonderment in a child's eyes and hearing squeals (or screams) of joy on Christmas morning when they see what Santa brought. Even playing Santa Claus through various charitable programs leaves me feeling really good even though I never see the faces of the children and their families.
Preserving that spirit is not without challenges however. One year the neighbor kids told our kids that it's Mom or Dad who writes the thank you note Santa leaves next to his milk and cookies. We had to go though handwriting analysis to prove it really was Santa who was writing those notes. A little nerve wracking but we passed.
I don't know exactly when Oldest Child figured out the truth about Santa Claus. We knew that she knew but she wasn't about to come clean. It turns out she was afraid she wouldn't get any more gifts from Santa if she let on to what she knew.
Youngest Child came home from school in 6th grade and sat me down for "the talk." Her best friend's mom had given her daughter "the talk" and now Youngest Child needed to know what was really going on. It was a traumatic conversation for the both of us, tears and all.
Our conversation ended with this: everyone is Santa Claus. This is the season of giving and it's as much fun, if not more, to play Santa by giving as it is to receive. Santa is not going away. With that, we started a new tradition in our family; Santa still stuffs the stockings Christmas Eve, only now there are several Santas doing the stocking stuffing in our house.
We also do at least one Christmas Angel every year, which the kids immensely enjoy assisting in selecting the gifts. I just wish we could be flies on the wall and see the wonderment and hear the sounds of joy from those children for whom we were able to play Santa.
© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum