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I believe

One of our two kids may be just pretending to believe in Santa Claus this year. It's okay. He's 10. One of these days we may have to tell him what's up. We have never made a big deal about Santa, beyond the standard traditions of sending a wish list letter and leaving out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve. But I've always worried about the day he asks questions for real and I have to give him for-real answers.

So whenever my kids ask me if I believe in Santa Claus, I say I believe in everything Santa stands for, all that he means: generosity, care for everyone, magic, excitement, and love. I tell them that believing in Santa is not just for little kids but for anyone who feels these things during the Christmas season. I never really swear by all the fairy tale details, but I say instead that I've never actually seen Santa Claus in person. 

These are the things my mom said to me, and eventually I got it. I don't remember feeling betrayed or fooled; I felt loved, and I loved my parents even more when I realized the bounty under the tree each year was really from them. 

Yesterday, Happy mentioned that some of the kids in his class were teasing about believing in SC. He said he feels sad for kids who don't believe. But he said it in a way that was really asking me a question. We were out running errands at the time, buying last minute gifts and eating a nice lunch out. A lump formed  in my throat. This may be the day we talk about Santa, I thought...or maybe let's wait until January. 

We came home to a mailbox full of Christmas cards, one addressed to the boys. It was a letter from "Santa's Elf Twinkle," detailing all the excitement of Christmas Eve and the treats Santa brings back to everyone at the North Pole. Adorable. I wish you could have seen Happy's face as he read it aloud to his little brother. Wonder, joy, magic, anticipation. He ran upstairs and taped the letter to his wall, right next to his bed. 

The best part of this letter? I have no idea who sent it.

This, my friends, is the spirit of Christmas -- a random act of kindness that brings unexpected joy.

This is Santa Claus. And I believe. 

Merry Christmas! 


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