Big E: "Mom, Sous Chef says Santa is not real."
Me: "Why do you think that, Sous Chef?"
Sous Chef: "Because he looks different every year."
Me: "Yes, Santa does have a lot of helpers so they don't all look exactly alike because there are different helpers each year."
Sous Chef exits, stage left.
Me: "What do you think about that, Big E?"
Big E: "Hhhmmmm...I know Santa is real."
Me: "What about the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy?"
Big E: "They aren't real. That's you."
Me: "So you know they aren't real, but Santa is? Does that make sense?"
Big E: "Yes, because he came to see us at our house in Kansas. He woke us up."
Me: "Maybe it was someone dressed up."
Big E: "No, because you and dad and Nana and Gramps were there with Santa."
Me: "You don't think that maybe that could have been Rusty?" (Rusty was our neighbor.)
Big E: BIG GRIN with "Are you SERIOUS?"
Big E: "So you are Santa, too?"
Big E: BIG GRIN and laughter.
Me: "So you see, Big E, Santa IS real. He's just not who you thought he was. It's me and dad. Someday, you and your wife will get to be Santa for your kids!"
Big E: BIG grin and laughter.
Me: "Won't that be fun?"
Big E: "Yes."
Sous Chef: "Is Santa real?"
Me: "What do you think?"
Sous Chef: "Yes."
Me: "It's fun to believe in Santa, isn't it?"
Sous Chef: "Yes."
I know many families wrestle with what to do about Santa - believe or not believe, tell or not tell - for a variety of reasons. I am thankful Motorcycle Guy and I have never waivered on this. It never even occured to us to not let our children enjoy this part of the Christmas Season. Our children are very clear that we celebrate Christmas because it is Jesus' birthday and having Santa as a part of our Christmas celebration has not taken away that focus. I have never felt like we have lied to them about Santa. Mainly, because we have not said "Yes, Santa is real" in the sense of a living big, jolly man in red. We have let them enjoy the magic of a big, jolly man in red delivering the presents of their dreams, knowing that someday we would reveal the fact that the magic of that big, jolly man is us. And knowing that the day would arrive when we would get to share with them that Santa IS real in the hearts of their parents and that we have enjoyed every moment of being "their" Santa. And we are excited for them, that in the future, they will get to do the same for their children!