Dad and Sean used to go around the house on Christmas Eve night with a long pole with Jingle Bells attached to it. "No, don't do that THERE, Rudolph!" they would say in a fluffy bearded voice. That totally fools very small kids, who sit suddenly up in bed wide-eyed and when I say *GASP!* "Quick! Pretend to be asleep!" they fall to their pillows like a bag of bricks and lie ABSOLUTELY STILL while we grownups go and giggle in the kitchen. Eating half a carrot and two pieces of fudge and three quarters of a glass of something.
This year, Sam has lost the Santa Awe. He, too, has joined the family in keeping it alive for Max, but it's tough going. I KNOW that Max will not be fooled for much longer (if he IS truly still fooled, or is he simply uncertain and covering his bases? Or does he KNOW and they are all keeping it up out of concern for their ninja parents? "They're so sweet" the boys are probably telling one another, "look at their faces! Let's give them just one more year...").
This may be our last truly magical Santa Season, one way or another.
And what will become of us? Will our sneaky ninja present-hiding skillz become obsolete? I love knowing that, behind the craft supplies and ugly sweaters on the top shelf, there are hidden treasures. I love that on Christmas Eve night we all go to sleep, too excited to think! and when we wake up in the morning Santa has BEEN! I love grumbling sleepily "five more minutes... Who? Santa? HE CAME??!" when boys jump on the bed to five a.m.
I remember the way Santa gradually became less believable for me, and I feel sad for kids whose parents would "never lie to their children" and kill the Myth. Never lie to your kids? Really? That is so BORING! Where is your magic? Where is your creativity? Did Hammy the Hamster really run away to live in the garden with the fairies or did the cat eat him and vomit him up on the bathroom rug? And what IS that thing in your bedside drawer, huh? Yikes!