When our kids were younger, we never told them Santa is real. We did tell them that Santa is fun, and read the stories (yay for Clement C. Moore!) and watched the TV specials (stop-action reindeer rock) and sang the songs (well, most of them; we never did take to Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer). In fact, once in a while the kids would ask to sit on Santa’s lap at a mall and we’d stand in line with the rest of the families. (If you want to know whether a mall Santa can ever give someone what they really want, look here.) They had fun sitting there and chatting with the big guy, but I don’t remember the kids ever actually asking him for anything.
For us, Santa was never more than a story person.
My kids are grown up now, but I still like to stay in touch with what’s happening among the younger family set. That’s probably why I read this article on one Santa’s adventures.
Santa Phil (the man featured in the article) has been at this for decades and has a lot of amusing stories about happy kids, sick kids, poor kids and rich kids. As you can imagine, I was grinning by the time I got to the second paragraph. But then, half-way through the article, I cried:
One time, two adorable girls clambered up onto Santa Phil’s lap as their dad handed him a cell phone.
“He told me, ‘Mom’s on the other end,'” Santa Phil recalled. “‘She can’t be here because she’s at home dying of cancer.'”
I’m glad some people do Santa.