By: Anne Marie Holloway
We were just about to sit down and watch the rest of “Elf” (one of the newly added films to my top five favorite Christmas movies list) when the questions began.
“Mom?” She asks me with an embarrassed pout, arms crossed, brows furrowed, “Some kids at school say Santa is not real.”
“If Santa is real, how come we never see him in person? We just see his helper!” cries another.
Once again, I find myself attempting to dodge this discussion with my kiddos. I pretend to grapple for the remote control so that maybe it might help me find the correct response to their truth-seeking inquiries. (Pause…Mute? Delete? –Sigh –Where is the rewind button on this thing??)
I hang my head defeated… I never thought such things would be so unavoidable… I used to be so adept at the art of redirecting!
I am suddenly filled with both guilt and fury. Guilt for being dishonest about the whole joyful charade and fury for the punk on the playground who is attempting to squeeze the joy out of my holidays by robbing my children of what is left of their childhood magic…
A magic that I have worked hard at creating. A magic that, many years from now, will hopefully provide some fond memories to reflect upon and give my offspring some respite from the trials and tribulations of the world in which they have journeyed out into; an adult world that could really use a Santa Claus and an Easter Bunny every now and then; a world so desperately in need of some childlike wonder.
Anyways, my response is always the same, not really an answer. It’s just like the one I was given as I sobbed on my mom and dad’s shoulders while seeking similar truths. I ramble on about the Christmas spirit and tell my curious little investigators not to waste their time on such things. I tell them that I feel sad for the little kid who has chosen not to believe in the magic of Santa and that choosing not to believe does not sound like much fun.
The discussion fizzles out a bit as we turn on the movie and laugh at the crazy antics of Buddy (played by Will Ferrell). As the movie draws to a close, my theories are confirmed by Santa himself who says, “Christmas spirit is about believing, not seeing.”
All eyes are on me. My hope-filled children look upon me awestruck and nod in unison, as if they all agree. They form a united front against the disillusioned non-Santa believers of the world.
And I find myself grappling for the remote again so that the kiddos don’t see the tears that line my cheeks as I smile in reverie. This silly movie just helped me win this round.
Mom: One. World: Zero.