Because the moment will eventually come when you will have to.
My daughter Lucy and I have been exchanging notes since the school year started. We’ve talked about all sorts of things – sports, books we’d like to read, adventures we’d like to have, even stories from when I was in year three. For the most part, though, it’s been light, casual stuff.
Until last week.
I NEED TO KNOW, she wrote, using capital letters for emphasis. ARE YOU SANTA? TELL ME THE TRUTH.
What do you do when your kid asks for the truth? You tell it, of course, doing your best to figure out a way that keeps at least some of the magic intact.
Here’s what I wrote:
Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”
I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.
I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mum did for me, and the same way her mum did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
This won’t make you Santa, though.