Is Santa Claus real?

November 22, 2008

If you have kids one day you’ll have to face the reality that they are growing up.  And as they mature, they will begin to question much of what we have been telling them their entire lives. This is an undeniable signal that one day they’ll leave the nest.  In my mind, there are a couple of questions that will need to be answered in the not so distant future.  One of these milestone questions is the infamous “Where do babies come from?” and the other “Is Santa Claus real?” I am hoping not to have to answer them in that order.


So, for your benefit, I have provided a few potential answers to the second dreaded question. I’ll answer the other when I cross that bridge, hopefully just before Mack accepts his academic scholarship to Yale.


The Question: “Daddy/Mommy, is Santa Claus real?”


1.   No, actually he is the principle player in an elaborate hoax staged by your mother and I that the entire free world is playing along with. Thank God the charade can finally end! We were getting worn out trying to perpetuate the myth. Do you realize the amount of effort it takes to keep all those street corner Santas happy?


2.   Why do you ask?  Did someone tell you something that I should know about? Give me his name, address and social security number this instance so I can forward it to Santa’s special Non-believer Eradication Reaction Department, code named “NERD”.  Santa’s goons will get that joker back on the right path- guaranteed.


3.   Oh, look, a Sasquatch! (run away and lock yourself in the bathroom until they forget what they asked you)


4.   Absolutely, of course he’s real. In fact, I saw him today at the liquor store buying a pack of Pall Malls.


5.   He’s real, but the Easter bunny is a complete fraud, turns out he’s not a bunny at all; he’s an unemployed organ grinder’s monkey.


6.   Santa’s real- Brittney Spears’ boobs are fake.


7.   Gosh, I hope so because I’m broke and if he’s not coming then you’re shit out of luck on that 4-wheeler request.


8.   Every time a child asks that question, somewhere in the world a kitten dies.


9.   I don’t know. Let’s do this, instead of toys, we’ll request a DNA sample and some fingerprints. We’ll get to the bottom of this by means of forensic science.


10. I don’t know. You’re a gambler by nature, why don’t you roll the dice and act like a lunatic for the next several weeks and if you don’t get anything for Christmas, you’ll know he exists.


11. He is real. In fact, this Christmas I plan on setting a snare to capture him so we can use him for our own evil purposes.


12. My Father’s favorite answer to this query, “He was until I ran him over in the driveway.” When my sister and I broke down in tears (every year, mind you) he would modify his response and say “He’s not dead kids; he’s just seriously injured”- boy, that softened the blow.


Any one of these would probably work, but to be honest I’ve never used any of them. The one time that the question was posed to me was during a school field trip that I had agreed to chaperone. It was about a week before Christmas and Mack and I were sitting on a school bus with his entire 2nd grade class waiting to go to see the “Nutcracker” (how festive).


As we were waiting to leave, a little girl sitting next to Mack looked over at him and out of the blue stated (rather loudly) that “Santa Claus doesn’t exist, my Daddy told me so!”   The entire bus load of kids became instantly “pin-drop” quiet.  Now, I was not the only adult on the bus, in fact there were several other parents on the trip, but as I scanned the crowd I noticed that every single one of them was suddenly afflicted with instantaneous narcolepsy. That left yours truly holding the bag. So with 60 or so kids anxiously awaiting a response, I came up with this:


“Hey guys, you’re going to hear a lot of people telling you that Santa Claus is a sham.  I heard it when I was your age too, but I chose not to believe them because I wanted Santa to be real.  This is what I decided- as long as I believe in Santa he will continue to believe in me.  Now, I’m not telling you that you have to believe in him, you decide which way you want to lean, but Mack and I are going to keep writing him letters, leaving out cookies, and hanging our stockings no matter what anyone tells us.”


It may not have been the perfect response, but when the other parents miraculously recovered from their bouts of narcolepsy, they each had a smile and a knowing nod for me, but that wasn’t the most rewarding part.  When all of the kids returned to typical field trip shenanigans and had all but forgotten my words of wisdom, Mack put his hand in mine, smiled at me, and quietly said, “Thanks Dad”. 


I guess there was at least one little boy that morning not quite ready to be all grown up.


I would love to hear how you answer this difficult question, so please leave a comment.  If they’re good, I’ll compile them and sell the list to Hallmark for their new “How to break it to your kids softly” Christmas card series.





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MrsFierceShoes posted the following on December 2, 2008 at 3:35 pm.

I’m going with #7….ha!

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