11 December 2007

Light at the end of the tunnel: Santa?

This is my last week of classes. Next week is finals (I have just one, and it's for handing in a take-home exam), then I grade until my eyes bleed and try to have everything in by the 21st. Grades aren't due until the 26th, but lemme tell you, nothing ruins a perfectly good holiday like grading.

Except maybe the stomach flu.

This year, like other years, will be a mix of in-laws and Hendrum and here at home. V is so close to knowing, really knowing, about how exciting this all is, but not quite. I wanted to do an advent calendar, like these (scroll down) or this, but it will have to wait until next year. By the time I found all my good wool felt, it was already December 4 (it was in the attic in a box marked "Christmas: fragile." Of course). So no advent joy (the anticipation, it is killing me) this year.

The other day, V and I were talking about Santa Claus. Let me say, before I go further, that it was really hard for me to decide to go the Santa route. I just really, really, really didn't want to ever be untruthful to my child. But I remember how breathlessly magical Christmas morning was for me during those first years, and I don't want to deny her of that. Still, it feels an awful lot like a bald-faced lie, and that's what makes it difficult. (Those of you rolling your eyes at this can stick it in your ear. These choices are hard for me!). At any rate, it felt less like lying when she was littler, and couldn't ask any questions. But the other day, when V and I were talking about Santa, it became clear she doesn't know much about him. She recognizes his picture and knows that he brings presents, but that's about it. I said something like, "And then on Christmas Eve, Santa will come. And what will he bring for you?"

"Prezants!" she said, beaming at knowing the answer.

"That's right," I smiled calmly, patting her on the head. I decided long ago to leave out the part about being good because of a horrible story I read once where this little girl who was from a poor family got only one measley doll and her neighbor got the Barbie Dreamhouse and limo and a chia pet and her own monkey and the little girl cried because she figured the neighbor girl must have been much more good to get so many fancy presents.

"Grandma bring Santa?" she said. Again, more sing-songy: "Grandma and Santa."


"Grandma bring Santa."

"Erm, no. Grandma won't be bringing Santa. See, Santa has his own sleigh, see, with 8 magic reindeer, and sometimes Rudolph if it's foggy, and he flies down from the North Pole to bring toys to all the...girls and boys who...believe in him. And he comes down the chimney, or, ah, through the window....erm...He has elves who help him make toys and other things that he brings to you and lots of other children."

"And Grandma."

I couldn't bear to tell her the whole filthy elaborate societal lie again. So in our house, I guess Santa gets a ride with Grandma. They can compare notes, I suppose, on who's been bad or good...I don't think the reindeer would fit in the Ford Focus, though, so they're on their own.

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