e’s 10 now. It is time to crush all of his hopes and dreams.
Today is my son Blake’s 10th birthday. It is also the day we are celebrating Christmas as a family because our other celebrations include a pair of eight-hour round trip drives into Oklahoma and there is no way I am hauling all of the boys’ presents back and forth.
So like other years, Santa has been asked to come to our house a little early. He always does. Santa is nice like that.
But this will be the last time Santa visits Blake. For that matter, the goofy little Elf on the Shelf is going to have the magic kicked out of him too.
When I sit Blake down to have the first of many coming of age talks to explain that there is no Santa Claus and Elf on the Shelf is also merely a tool to make Christmas fun for kids and their parents, I don’t think he will be shocked.
He goes to school with all of the soulless little joy thieves who have told him for years about how Santa isn’t real. These little punks have also made sure to tell him his mother is moving the Elf on the Shelf and he isn’t going back and forth to the North Pole every night.
These will be the same people he works with who tell him when he is having a bad hair day or how he looks like he has gained weight. Some people love to bring others down – and trust me, it starts young.
So Blake knows. But he has continued to believe despite his disbelief.
Why wouldn’t he? If you believe, Santa brings you video games, and other toys you want. His Elf has been a lot of fun too.
He tries to keep his belief alive. He saw some videos on youtube.com where people had animated an Elf on the Shelf and “proved” they came alive at night. Of course, he also found his mom’s web history and saw where she had looked up fun ideas for what the Elf could do that would keep the magic happening. It is hard to overcome evidence.
It will be hard on my wife because she has been playing the role of Santa and Elf on the Shelf for years. She wraps trees in toilet paper and positions the elves in all kinds of crazy scenarios to entertain the boys. She shops for Santa and fills stockings and does all of the real work.
I help play the role of Santa too, though. I eat iced sugar cookies and drink the milk. I even remember to leave one cookie on the plate with a “Santa bite mark” in it.
Page 2 of 2 - That’s hard work but I have been glad to do it.
But Blake is now asking direct questions like, “Mom, are you the one moving the Elf every night?” and, “Dad, is Santa really real.”
He even asked me why all the hair on my beard has turned white since he was born but I don’t think he was implying that I look like Santa.
I’m tired of lying and he knows anyway. So Saturday afternoon when the fun of one last visit from Santa has tapered off, I will let him see behind the curtain.
I will explain what has been done to keep the myth alive and I will also explain that we did it to give him joy and increase the fun of the season.
I will also invite him to avoid being a joy thief like many of his classmates and have him join the team to keep the magic alive for Dawit.
After all, kids aren’t the only ones who love Santa. You know, “they know that Santa’s on his way, He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh. And every mother's child is gonna spy to see if Reindeer really know how to fly.”
Blake knows a lot now but after Saturday, he will know everything. In some ways it is sad leaving those childhood milestones in the dust.
But it is equally exciting seeing the fine young man those 10 magical years have produced.