It was bound to happen.
He kept up the charade as long as he could.
Charlie finally admitted to me that he no longer believes in the jolly man in
the red suit.
He actually quit believing 'at least a year ago', but, as he put it, he was
'protecting me', as he knew 'how important' it was to me. For crying
out loud! He was even in cahoots with Mike last year, and admitted he
knew the gig was up, but he didn't want me to feel bad.
I kind of went all out with the Santa thing. Mostly because I wanted to
relive the magic, and the mystery. And listen for sleigh bells in the frosty
air of Christmas Eve. When I was little, I would rub a spot on the frozen
windshield in the car, on the way home from my grandparent's house, and
imagine I could see the tiny red dot that was Rudolph's nose as he led the
sleigh through the cold dark night.
So when Charlie came along, I was in full-on Santa mode. We wrote letters
and made a big deal of delivering them. He sat on Santa's lap when he was
younger (not just any Santa, I made sure to do a tour of the malls to see
which one was the most authentic. I was quite fond of the Burnsville mall
Santa, the Southdale Santa fit the bill one year). We would put together
the special tray of goodies on Christmas Eve, including carrots for the
reindeer. I worked hard to keep the magic alive. There was a dedicated roll
of wrapping paper, hidden in the far depths of my closet, that was used only
for Santa gifts. Sometimes Santa left Charlie a note, and I had to disguise
The best part was the small blue elf, that magically arrived in our house on
December 1st, and each day moved to a different spot to keep a watchful
eye on Charlie. It was a wonderful disciplinary tool, Charlie was never so
well behaved as when I reminded him that the elf was watching. I am sure
this will come up in therapy in the future. Especially since he used to talk
to the elf when he was younger....
And now someone has gone and marketed the idea, "Elf on the Shelf", and
there is an accompanying storybook as part of the set. Dang, the money I
could have made....
Last night, as I was pulling out the boxes of Christmas decorations, Charlie
asked where the elf was. Of course, he is hidden in my sock drawer. I
would never put him with the rest of the decorations, what if Charlie found
it? He gently reminded me that it was time to let the elf go live with
someone else now.