Technically, my parents never confirmed nor denied the existence of Santa Claus to Sarah and me. He remained shrouded in mystery, and to be honest I don't know what I thought on those occasions that we were invited to plop ourselves onto the lap of the Jolly Elf, himself. I was probably skeptical, but I know that a part of me wanted so desperately to believe.
On Saturday, Chloe, Nicholas and I headed north to Poulsbo for the annual Shop With A Cop event (go here for an event rundown). As usual, Grandma Max turned on her charm as Mrs. Claus and this year Bill joined her as Santa, and it occured to me that this might be confusing. Grandma and Bill were Mrs. Claus and Santa?
We got around this little discrepancy by telling the kids that Grandma would take messages for Santa, and e-mail him later. Makes sense!
Sunday found us at Camp Murray for Paul's Christmas Party. Santa was to make an appearance here as well, and I found myself by the bouncy house when he made his grand entrance into the gym, Ho Ho Ho-ing and shaking his jingle bells.
Nicholas had already flown out of the inflated castle, but the other little boy inside wasn't as quick. He poked his head out of the mesh entry, took one look at Santa and announced, "That's not Santa!"
"Of course it is," I replied.
"Nope," he retorted. "That guy's wearing Army boots. Santa wears black boots." Sharp kid...
Fortunately I was ready for him. "They flew Santa in from the North Pole on a helicopter, so he had to wear Army boots!"
The kid narrowed his eyes at me, but he seemed, for the moment, to believe me.
Funny how, in a culture inundated with caucasian Santas, not one kid noticed that this Santa was black...but they noticed that he was wearing the wrong boots!
How many Santas will the kids see this year? There's a Santa in every mall, every department store, and on the street corners. He's in parades and on tv. Shouldn't he be up at the North Pole, working his prodigious bottom off in efforts to be ready by December 25?
This thought doesn't occur to those who believe in him most; it's the child-like wonder and unquestioning spirit that makes the holidays magical. And I have to remind myself that I should enjoy the season in that same way.