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Dearest Santa,

I know you are reading this letter at your busiest time and for that I do apologize. Having paid my dues in Christmas retail, I always hated the shoppers that ran into the store at closing time, but I do need to talk to you about this Christmas and my four children.

Our youngest is only 19 months so he is blissfully unaware of your magic and also unaware of the unrest and suspicions swirling around our house. I am not sure if your Scout elves, Gabriel and Elizabeth, who witnessed the entire interrogation, were able to fill you on my Christmas Dilemma, but here’s the skinny… (sorry Santa – bad pun).

The three older ones surrounded me last week and demanded to know if I was Santa. Isn’t that hilarious? “You always want us to tell the truth Dad, so tell us, are you Santa?” The question, straight from left field, hung in the air like a drunk uncle’s B.O. at a crowded family gathering.

Inside, I was shocked, surprised, and a little sad at the question (I thought we had more time, another year at least). Overtly, I winced, sighed, and stammered. I thought about playing the “Santa comes to those who believe” card or the more effective “Santa-Soup-Nazi-card” – “No Believe in Santa? No Santa for you!”

But instead, I turned the tables and asked why they might think I was Santa. Their flimsy argument revolved around three key points – Logistics, China, and Spatial load constraints.

• How could Santa get to EVERY house in the world, all in one night?
• Why were you outsourcing your North Pole toy manufacturing factories to China? (where they discovered our Elf on the Shelf was made)
• How could your ONE sleigh hold all of those toys for the 4 billion children of the world?

I marveled at their wit, logic, and common sense, but then I realized the even bigger gift: my egocentric children were finally realizing that there are other people in their world!!  How exciting!  It’s a Christmas miracle!

Santa, I love you and I love the magic of Christmas. It is hardest for my oldest boy who in the same week as this Santa inquiry, also learned (at school) about periods, menstruation, and tampons (he then polled every women in his life on whether they were wearing a pad at that moment).

Straddling these two worlds of Santa and impending puberty is tough, so how can we keep the innocence and magic alive as long as possible? I am sure you have encountered this before in your 1600+ years, so I am open to your suggestions and look forward to your crafty ideas.

Thanks for listening and enjoy Mexico in January. Don’t forget the 50+ SPF sunscreen!

Lots of love big guy,

Jeff
xoxo

PS… Feel free to keep my wife on the naughty list.

Until next time… Merry Christmas to all and to all a safe and happy holiday with family!

**** UPDATED — December 27 — What a magical Christmas! All four children put out cookies, said goodbye to our Elves on the Shelves (sp?) and watched the Santa Tracker in awe and then scurried to bed.  If there was any doubt about Santa, as we got closer to the big day (and away from older children at school), the magic returned!!!  In the words of the prophet Yukon Cornelius, “Waaaaaahhhhhoooooooooooooooooo!!!”

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