the truth about Santa

Last year, I had a very serious conversation with Jack about Santa. If you go back and reread it, you will see what I said versus what I wish I had said.

Let’s just say, the other night I got my wish.

Once again, it didn’t happen as expected. In fact, I precipitated the conversation in a very unfortunate way. After a frustrating moment with a naughty kitty, I muttered something under my breath about her needing to stop her bad behavior or I was going to find her a new home, Jack started crying. (For the record, he was not supposed to hear such crazed mommy mutterings.) I tried to calm him down and explain that I didn’t mean it, I was just frustrated. Out of nowhere he proclaimed, “I know exactly what I’m going to ask Santa for this Christmas. I’m going to ask him to bring back all the pets I know who have died in the last year. Jack Dog, Roxy, Squee. I want them all back.”

Oh shit.

Me: “Baby, you know Santa can’t do that, right?” I whispered softly into the top of his head.

Jack: “But Santa is magic, and he can do anything!” Jack practically wailed.

Me: “Kids, we need to have a talk about Santa.”

I told them about Saint Nicholas. I talked about the spirit of giving. I assured them that believing in the magic of the season keeps the holiday vibrant. I don’t want them to lose that magical feeling just because there isn’t a white-haired man in a flying sleigh who distributes presents to each kid around the world. I used reason. I used passion. Jack initially bawled, but then seemed soothed by the idea that he can personally have a role in perpetuating the spirit of the holidays.

Me: “Do you guys understand?”

Jack: “Yes. It’s better to give than receive. And I can make the holidays bright by giving to those I love.”

Me: “That’s right! Colin?”

Colin: “Yeah, just one question, mom. What about the reindeer? Are they real?”

At least there weren’t any questions about the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. One burst bubble at a time.

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all I want for Christmas

All I want for Christmas...Now that Jack has been reassured that Santa exists, he has been busy working on his letter to Santa.

Too busy.

While letters from years past have been Facebook-worthy in their sure little boy-ness (“gas mask [with hood]” last year or “one puppy [small]” the year before) this year my little consumer monsters would have made the Material Girl blush.

23 items on Jack’s list, including such treasures as an iPod touch (no), a video camera (no) and a DSI (no). So then we had to have a little talk about gluttony.

Me: There’s no way I am sending either of these letters to Santa.

Both boys returned with more appropriate lists that were limited to five items of varying sizes and price ranges, though neither list included the item they’re actually getting for Christmas.

All their list-making and prioritizing and editing and rewriting got me to wondering: if I had a Santa, what would be on my list?

Of course, aside from a binding global agreement on climate change from major emitters, some very classic items came to mind. New riding boots (I’ve had my eye on these convertible ones from Lillybee for awhile) and an orange wool coat with leopard print gloves. You have read of my desire for a new handbag (pictured is Emily’s coveted bag but in a gorgeous purple). I’m in the market for some funky jewelry that can be dressed up or down. And of course, while one is dreaming big and making lists, a Cartier tank watch.

I probably have a better shot at getting a Cartier watch someday than I do on an international deal on climate change.

I didn’t self reprimand my gluttony as I do not have expectations that a single one of these items will end up under my tree. After all, there’s really no one to share this list with beyond the blogosphere, and I’m sure Santa doesn’t follow me. As a half-time single woman/half-time single mom, I will look forward on Christmas morning to opening the gifts my boys make for me. This year I am hoping for one of Jack’s self-designed comic books, perhaps a box of Colin’s paper airplanes, and a jointly assembled pack of their “Magic Cards” which include a cross-pollination of the characters of all the mystical books they read, each assigned a point value and strength based on their activities in their respective books.

At least, those are the items I intend to ask for on my real list, the list I plan to give to the boys.

After the holidays, I can always buy myself the boots.