The burning question




Last night at bedtime Julia, Liam and I were watching an Iron Chef America episode where Mario Batali is pitched into a crawfish battle of snappish proportions, and out of nowhere Julia says, "Does Santa really exist? Because, I'm not so sure."

Wow. Uh. . . Where's my mommy manual? Right. There isn't one. Damn. So I say, "Well, first of all, I don't know what the kids are saying at school, honey, but Santa does exist—mostly in your heart—but he works in many, many ways and it's up to you to believe." Then I told her about how the kids at my school were telling me there was no Santa, but then I went to the mall and saw him and knew he was real because his beard wasn't that fake white color, but a real, yellowish, pulleable beard. And I told her—again—we can all believe, or not believe, if we want to.

She didn't say much, so I'm not sure if my speech was a futile effort, or a string of masterful persuasion, or if she really wasn't listening at all because Mario Batali was smashing a pile of crawfish with a mallet, and that's probably more interesting than hearing about: blah, blah, Santa, mall, blah, blah, believe, blah, blah, blah.

I kind of hope it worked and she still believes. I believe in Santa. And always will. You know how I feel—Santa isn't one color, one person, in one state or country, he's many, many people and he brings more than one kind of present, and the best gifts are those you can't see. No one will ever take Santa away from me. I will die an old lady and still believe. So there.

And I hope all the Julia's out there in the world believe, too. It sucks not having things to believe in. The world is hard and cold, money is tight, people are hitting each other over the head, like Mario with that mallet, all in an effort to excrete some sort of understanding of how the world works. I think that sometimes the harder you look, the less you see. The more you try to find meaning, the less meaningful the world becomes. Magic is a simple organism. Happiness needs no explanation. It's best to leave your third eye open and your real eyes averted—just a little. Just enough for a miracle, or two, to slip in.

HO. HO. HO.

Comments

  1. Of course Santa exists; he's just brought me a wonderful concrete floor (not everyone's idea of a Christmas present, I know).

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    1. Yay! Glad to hear it's happened before the worst of winter sets in.

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  2. Of course Santa Claus is real. I've seen him help people give their children a proper Christmas in the middle of the worst financial problems. I've seen him help a parent be there for an upset child. Help a person be there for a friend.

    The problem is people are so blinded by complicated things they forget how simple magic is.

    You tell your daughter that I know he's real. And I'm Irish. We know our fey folk. We might forget them from time to time, but they're always there, waiting for us to believe.

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    Replies
    1. Aw, I love this. Such a beautiful way to put things, and I agree completely!

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  3. Children have thrown into the world of mechanizing Santa. They really don't need that magical Christmas morning experience with the internet. Everything they see and want can be seen on commercials and TV. Santa's workshop can't compete.

    What a loss for them. This year Santa will bring fewer gifts, and grandparents who have seen their bedrooms will cut down as well.

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    Replies
    1. So true. My kids have their gadgets, but I still try to wrangle them into craft times, and book times, and all that sort of stuff. Last night we played the entire Nutcracker Suite and made up words for all the themes. It's these moments that a gadget can never compete with, I think.


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  4. Amy, I love this post and Paul Anthony's comment too. have a lovely Christmas xx

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    1. A lovely Christmas to you as well, Molly! xxxx

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  5. When I was a child, oh so long ago, there was so much magic surrounding Christmas. And it had nothing to do with malls. I think parents today must have a much more difficult time maintaining that magic, that belief in the goodness of Santa. Of course, Amy, I know you can create your own magic around your home with your kids. And you are so right, gadgets have nothing on those special moments.

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    1. It is more difficult. I think even just our ability to go outside and explore the world in winter without the fear of strangers was part of the charm.

      Thanks for commenting, Inger!

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  6. Today children don't have to wait for a classmate or friend to make them doubt in the jolly old elf. They just turn on one of their gadgets and google him. Sad, sad, sad!

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    Replies
    1. Yes. The gadgets can be good for many things, but they're also a big mind hassle as well.

      Stay warm!!

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