I don’t remember ever believing in Santa Claus, though I know I must have. There’s an old 8mm tape somewhere that shows a four-year-old me sitting on my Grampa’s lap and grilling him about Santa. “How does he get down the chimney? What if you don’t have a chimney?” Even at that young age I was skeptical.
My daughter, however, believed everything I ever told her. So when Emma was in third grade and some of the other kids found out she still believed in Santa Claus, they made fun of her and she was very upset. So upset, in fact, that she hit a little boy who called her stupid for still believing.
I had to go to the school and pick her up. She was in tears. She cried, “He said there was no Santa Claus, Mom. He said I was a baby for believing it. He said you’d lied to me. He said it was you who put the presents under the tree. He said you ate the cookies and milk I left out for Santa.”
Oh boy, I thought. Here it comes. I didn’t have a choice. I was going to have to kill Santa Claus.
When we got home, I sat Emma down for a serious talk. “There is no Santa, honey. Not really. The spirit of Santa is there. But there’s not really a man dressed in red with a white beard and –“
“You lied to me?” Emma interrupted.
“Well, it’s more like a white lie. It’s for fun. And it’s not really a lie because –“
But Emma didn’t let me finish. “I hate you!” she yelled as she ran for her room and slammed the door behind her.
I was stricken. I didn’t know what to do. After a bit, Emma came out of her room. She stood before me with her little arms crossed defiantly over her chest. “What about the Easter bunny?” she asked. “Is he a lie, too?”
I nodded. She ran back to her room. The door slammed again.
Later, Emma came out and squinted at me. “How about the Tooth Fairy?”
“Made up,” I answered.
She ran. Slammed the door.
A little later, she peeked out her door at me. “Jack Frost?”
“No,” I answered.
The door slammed shut.
Well, that’s it, I thought. All the childhood characters were now officially dead and gone. She would be mad for a little while then she’d forget and that would be that.
But it wasn’t over. The door opened. Emma peeked her head out. “What about Jesus? Is that all a lie, too?”
A new romantic comedy by the duo of Saxon Bennett and Layce Gardner.
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