Christmas is a big holiday in our house, with lots of family traditions.
Beth Falkenstein: My kids have already written their letters to Santa Claus. Tonight they are baking cookies to leave out for him. And on Christmas Eve, they will scatter carrots and apples for Santa's reindeer.
By the way, my kids are 11 and 14 years old.
I find it amusing that they have chosen to so defiantly defend this peculiar reality, especially considering that they don't believe me if I tell them they need a coat when it's fifty degrees outside. But my story about a jolly man in a red suit who circumnavigates the globe in one night -- that is one-hundred-percent fact.
Ever since they were very young, I have been waiting for the day when they would come up to me and ask, "Mommy, is Santa Claus really real?" I didn't know how I would respond, but I hoped that inspiration would come to me in the moment. Instead, the scenario that plays out between us is more like this: Around this time of year, they come home from school and relate in incredulous tones how so-and-so told them there was no Santa Claus. I merely shrug and give a noncommittal reply, such as "That's too bad for them."
It's kind of like an unspoken "Don't ask, don't tell" policy between us.
I have to admit, there are times when I think it would be easier to just come out and explode the myth ... such as when I have to wrap two sets of gifts. (Santa has his own special wrapping paper, you know.) But that would signal an end to an innocence that I am not ready to accept.
As long as my kids believe in Santa Claus, then they can't really be growing up, can they? And they won't ever leave home, will they? And they will always need their mommy, won't they?
OK, I'm not sure which one of us is living in the bigger fantasy.
|Beth Falkenstein was a sitcom writer and freelance contributor to Self, Redbook and YM magazines before taking a full-time job in her kitchen. She loves her new bosses (ages 14 and 11), and is grateful that they approve of interoffice romance, because Beth thinks her coworker (Jim, age 46) is really hot.|