Our oldest daughter is eight years old and entering the twilight of her innocence when it comes to Santa Claus. She still believes, but you can see logic starting to creep in. I blame fractions. She’s known as the fraction queen in 3rd grade. Math – it’s like hemlock to fruitful imaginations.
I’m sure some of you will say – ‘But Jim, mathematicians have to think creatively to solve complex science problems, design architecture or create new fragrances for DKNY.’ Indeed they do. But science is not the dark Christmas Eve sky that she stares up into hoping to spot a red blinking light.
When she was born I was on the fence about whether to let Santa be a part of our lives. I was equally concerned with deceiving her as subjecting her to the idea of Santa as a replacement for the true meaning of the holiday. And of course there’s the commercialism. However, my wife is an ardent traditionalist and so I was only on the fence for like 10 minutes. Eight years later, I’m ok with Santa. Even now – at the end of the innocence.
So we’ll drink in all the lights again this year. We’ll sprinkle oats on the front porch for the reindeer on Christmas eve. And we’ll tease the kids by making them wait in the kitchen on Christmas morning while my wife and I check out the living room to see if Santa really came. He will have, of course. And we’ll deal with what happens next – next.
Everything changes. Everything ends. And if we’re lucky, we get to relive the good things more than once.
Merry Christmas. And if for some reason you can’t muster the imagination necessary to enjoy Christmas through the eyes of a child – try squinting.