The Little General declines to sit on Santa’s lap.
What’s this? My child has gained the maturity to speak assertively to St. Nick while still maintaining her belief in magic? What gives?
Don’t look at me. It wasn’t my idea that she believe in Santa. Oddly enough, she picked that up in a Jewish preschool, of all places. She came home one day, barely in control of her language, extoling the virtues a Jolly Ol’ Elf who could bring kids anything they asked for. In her little mind, Santa was a bank card with no limits and no parental restrictions. Anytime she wanted something that I said no to, she just spouted back, “I’ll ask Santa!” as if Santa was the cosmic godfather who could override even me. #RME
Then at age 5, she changed schools to attend kindergarten. This time the kids were a little more savvy and had cashed in their belief in magic for the potential of real credit cards, with and without parental restrictions. There is no such thing as Santa Claus, they insisted. The Little General came home with questions: Why were they saying that? Was it true?
“You believe what you believe and let them believe what they believe,” I answered. She might as well learn to stand up to peer pressure now.
So, every year the question comes up again, and she tries to approach it scientifically. For now, knowing her parents as she does, it's easier to imagine a magic elf setting up the toy display in our living room than it is to imagine her stoic parents getting up in the middle of the night and doing it.
Still at age 10, as her mind soars toward maturity, she grapples with reality. “Momma, tell me. Does Santa really exist?”
I sigh and answer wistfully, “When you stop believing in Santa, Santa stops coming. Are you ready for Santa to stop coming?”
She thinks on it hard and fast, then answers, “No.”
And that settles the question. For now.
#DoesSantaReallyExist #YesThereIsASantaClause #TheLittleGeneral
Hal Hutchison, M.Ed.
Hal Wofford Hutchison, M.Ed., is a former columnist, writer and editor for the Arkansas Democrat and the Arkansas Gazette newspapers. She has also been a secondary educator, and a university counselor and administrator. She lives in Little Rock, Ark., with her husband of 23 years and their daughter.