I watched the touching Spanish IKEA commercial that went viral about kids writing two letters – one to Santa, and one to their parents. It turns out the kids asked Santa for lots of toys, but their wishes from their parents were very different. They wanted more time with them, they wanted to be listened to.
I asked my son what he would ask me and Dad for that wasn’t a material thing. He didn’t take long to answer: “I want to know the truth about the Tooth Fairy and leprechauns and all that stuff.”
Not the response I was expecting, but I shouldn’t have been surprised giving his growing skepticism. A lot of my friends with kids this age are struggling with how to approach this. (You can read my previous post about this.)
We settled in for a talk. I told him flat out: the Tooth Fairy is not real. And leprechauns, I don’t know. I’ve never seen one. (These leprechaun traps kids make today weren’t a thing when I was growing up. I had never even heard of them until H wanted to make one a couple years ago.)
“So….Easter Bunny?” he asked.
I opened my mouth to reply, with a sigh, but before I could answer, he blurted out, “Do I REALLY want to hear this?”
“I don’t know, do you?”
“Well, I don’t want to know about Santa!” he said, quite emphatically.
So we left it at the leprechauns. And I decided it was time for another Package from Santa. I ordered the package (this is a pretty cool thing if you’ve never done it (www.packagefromsanta.com), this time editing the letter to reflect his questions. It arrived last night. He squealed when he tore open shiny envelope from the North Pole (Whew! Another year on the Nice List!) and sat down to read the personalized letter.
“I know you’re almost 9 now and you’ve been hearing from other kids that there is no Santa Claus and trying to decide for yourself what you believe. Your parents and I have been thinking a lot about what to tell you,” Santa wrote.
“You said you wanted the truth, so here it is: the magic of Santa is real.” (More squealing.)
“But you’re such a smart boy and ask so many questions that you have figured out a few of my secrets. You’re right, it is hard for me and the reindeer to fly all the way around the globe in one night…and your parents sometimes help me make sure your presents get delivered.”
It went on to congratulate him for this good works and successes during the year and to wish him a happy birthday, which falls on the day after Christmas.
He beamed. He jumped up and down. He was thrilled. He was relieved.
He was not completely fooled.
“So exactly how does Santa get the presents to you guys?” he asked.
To tell or not to tell? He wants the truth. He wants to believe.
So I told him what I believe to be true: It’s all part of the magic of Christmas.
I hope that gets me on the Nice List.