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December 24, 2012

santa and me: year three

By the third year of my battle with Santa, I was pretty sure he was a concoction of my mom's. One by one, my friends were renouncing the jolly old elf and demeaning those who persisted in believing. And my mother certainly wasn't above fraud.

One day in early December, I saw her fumbling to lock a hallway closet. When we made eye contact, she panicked a bit, scrambling faster to lock the door.

a-HA!

I could scarcely wait for her to leave the house. When she did, I raced upstairs. Picking the lock was a small matter. I had years of practice on my siblings' bedroom doors. Within seconds, the closet door swung open.

And there was a gigantic pile of Christmas gifts, every one of them from "Santa."

A wave of mixed feelings hit me. Triumph, certainly, in finally outwitting the evil woman who'd spent my lifetime lying to me. But also a distinct sense of loss. A kernel of innocence died that day. I would never know the magic of a childhood Christmas again. I bowed my head.

That's when I saw the note.

Pat,

Sorry to dump these off on you so early, but that kid of yours is getting close to catching me, and I can't have that. Please store these until Christmas morning. Thanks a ton.

Ho, ho, ho,
S.C.

I believed until I was 38.

posted by john at 10:06 AM  â€¢  permalink