By: Anne Marie Holloway
We were just about to sit down and watch the rest of “Elf” (one of the newly added films to my top five favorite Christmas movies list) when the questions began.
“Mom?” She asks me with an embarrassed pout, arms crossed, brows furrowed, “Some kids at school say Santa is not real.”
“Yeah, and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny neither!” chimes in my wide-eyed, seven-year-old son.
“If Santa is real, how come we never see him in person? We just see his helper!” cries another.
Once again, I find myself attempting to dodge this discussion with my kiddos. I pretend to grapple for the remote control so that maybe it might help me find the correct response to their truth-seeking inquiries. (Pause…Mute? Delete? –Sigh –Where is the rewind button on this thing??)
I hang my head defeated… I never thought such things would be so unavoidable… I used to be so adept at the art of redirecting!
I am suddenly filled with both guilt and fury. Guilt for being dishonest about the whole joyful charade and fury for the punk on the playground who is attempting to squeeze the joy out of my holidays by robbing my children of what is left of their childhood magic…
A magic that I have worked hard at creating. A magic that, many years from now, will hopefully provide some fond memories to reflect upon and give my offspring some respite from the trials and tribulations of the world in which they have journeyed out into; an adult world that could really use a Santa Claus and an Easter Bunny every now and then; a world so desperately in need of some childlike wonder.
Anyways, my response is always the same, not really an answer. It’s just like the one I was given as I sobbed on my mom and dad’s shoulders while seeking similar truths. I ramble on about the Christmas spirit and tell my curious little investigators not to waste their time on such things. I tell them that I feel sad for the little kid who has chosen not to believe in the magic of Santa and that choosing not to believe does not sound like much fun.
The discussion fizzles out a bit as we turn on the movie and laugh at the crazy antics of Buddy (played by Will Ferrell). As the movie draws to a close, my theories are confirmed by Santa himself who says, “Christmas spirit is about believing, not seeing.”
All eyes are on me. My hope-filled children look upon me awestruck and nod in unison, as if they all agree. They form a united front against the disillusioned non-Santa believers of the world.
And I find myself grappling for the remote again so that the kiddos don’t see the tears that line my cheeks as I smile in reverie. This silly movie just helped me win this round.
Mom: One. World: Zero.
One thought on “An Ode to Elf!!!”
When my oldest (now 34) told me that he didn’t believe in Santa, I gave him what I thought was a pretty cynical reply. “If you don’t believe in Santa, he won’t keep bringing presents. Don’t tell your younger sister and brother because Santa won’t come.” I thought he would figure out his self-interest and keep quiet. Which he did. But then he suggested that we put the video camera in front of the fireplace to film Santa. Of course, we couldn’t refuse this plum that landed in our lap. The video just captured ‘sound’. Santa came into the porch instead of the living room and all we heard was the ring of bells and Santa’s comments. My son watched that video over and over during the course of the next year. Two years later we got out the Christmas bells and he said – shocked. “Those are the bells on the Santa video!” All, we were busted. My point is that my son just really wanted to believe and took my cynical answer as the ‘proof’ he needed. What I said was less important than I thought. Kids believe or don’t believe on their own schedule. Thanks for the article! It bought me back….