(This photo is real. No tricks, they are actually not trying to kill each other.)
Example: There is a great website that delivers a personalized message to your child, or your spouse (thanks Tod!) and they are A W E S O M E! The site, http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/home does a great job of making the message from Santa (or “Ho Ho” as Eli calls him) personable and very addictive. The kids have watched their own videos dozens of times now, to the point where I can almost do the script on my own verbatim. Anna screamed with delight as Tod told her that she had just received an email from Santa. We all gathered around the computer screen and watched as the scripted/personalized message played out. I began to tear up as I watched Anna react to Santa and all he had to say, and was visibly crying at the end as she whispered “I love you!” to him as he left the screen. Tod was mocking me, but it was probably because I was mocking him earlier for tearing up watching the Drake and Josh Christmas Special on Nick that afternoon (really?)
But what made me so sad and tear up was that she believed so hard in him, and that her belief isn’t spoiled by the jadedness of growing up. To her, Santa is real, and is a very big presence in her life right now. In watching her react to him, I felt sad that I didn’t have anything to believe in anymore. My faith in the church is gone, and I am struggling to find what I actually believe in (religion-wise) at this point. I do know that I believe in my family, my wonderful kids, and my great husband Tod. And I believe in the magic of Santa dammit. Santa hasn’t caused any wars, Santa hasn’t caused people to kill each other (okay, there was that one time at Target that one Black Friday) and Santa, even though he has that Naughty/Nice list, never once said NO! to a Gay kid. So for me and my family, right now we are rocking out with the Big Guy, the man in red, or Ho Ho as he is known in these parts.
He brings the magic we all need this time of year, even if it is delivered by a 5 year old watching a video.