Giving Up The Magic

It’s a sad day when kids stop believing in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, and fairies.

Nederlands: Sinterklaas tijdens het Het Feest ...

Nederlands: Sinterklaas tijdens het Het Feest van Sinterklaas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not because I enjoy lying to my kids, but because–on the day they stop believing–a piece of their innocence is lost.  An unforgettable, valuable part of childhood dies.

Believing in magic is a beautiful thing.

Do you remember the last time you looked around the world with a sense of wonder?  When seeing a puppy form in the clouds was a miracle?  When the idea of an ant carrying 1000 times its own weight was something worth watching?  When the impossible goodness of a fat man squeezing down your chimney fills you with hope instead of making you call 911?

Do I believe in Santa?

Of course not, but I believe the concept of Santa is worthy of my children’s belief.  I don’t want them to lose that innocence and wonder.

When my teenager was young, he asked if Santa was real.  I responded by asking what he thought.  When he told me he didn’t believe, I offered to let Santa know.  His panic told me he wasn’t ready to give up the magic.

The day that conversation didn’t cause a panic, he looked hurt, like he’d lost something precious.  He had.

His world of magic was gone.

The he asked why I had spent his lifetime lying to him.  I told him the truth.  I said I couldn’t bear to be the one to shatter his belief in magic before he was ready.

Then, I informed him that he was in on the conspiracy.  He was not allowed to ruin it for anyone else.  Not his sisters, not his friends.

That Christmas, my little boy helped me stuff stockings, which was an odd feeling.

The magic was over, but we still got to share the magic of his cousins and sisters.

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A Bit of Christmas Magic

English: An image of a modern Christmas elf on...

Image via Wikipedia

On Thursday, my wife left with my kids and dog.    I had to work all day on Friday, so she took off to get an early start on Christmas at my brother’s house.   I followed Saturday morning.

Two nights with no whining, and a bed to myself.

Friday afternoon, my wife  called to tell me about her day.

When she got to my brother’s, she took her tailgate down to get the suitcases out of the back of her truck.   She left the plastic container full of presents in her truck, since we’d be exchanging presents at my parent’s house nearby.

Friday morning, she left to feed her shopping addiction for a few hours.

When she got to the giant store that had our new car seats on sale, she discovered that she had neglected to put the tailgate back up on the truck when she unpacked.   This was the box that held most of our budgeting overspend.


When she called me, she was retracing her steps, hoping to find the box.

I was upset.

She didn’t find the box on the side of the road.


Normally, this would be a strong object lesson in the futility of rampant consumerism.   A lot of zen-like “the stuff you own is fleeting”, amidst the wailing of children who are discovering that their Christmas presents evaporated in a ditch somewhere.

Somebody found the box.  I don’t know who.

Whoever it was, opened the box and saw the tears of small children inside.  She read the name tags and, amazingly, recognized enough of the first names to place the family.

Keep in mind that I live more than 100 miles away, and moved out of the town 15 years ago.

This anonymous Christmas elf brought the box into a nearby gas station, and asked them to call my parents, since the names on the tags matched those of my parents’ grandchildren.

Everything was still in the box.

Everything was still intact.

Anonymous Christmas Elf saved Christmas for my family


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