My dad wasn’t a man who went to great lengths to have us believing in Santa. He’d write thank you notes for the cookies in his own unmistakable handwriting. Santa Claus would bring gifts that we’d seen “hidden” in my parents’ closet weeks before. While we were within earshot he’d say things to my mom like, “Let’s get these kids in bed so we’re not up all night.”   


Perhaps he wanted us to work harder for our faith in Santa.


Or maybe he underestimated us. Didn’t think we were smart enough to realize that the carrot in the trashcan was the same carrot we’d left out for Rudolph the night before.


And then, every Christmas morning, before we were allowed to see the gifts and after we’d combed our hair, etc., my dad would gather us around him and tell us he was very, very sorry, but Santa Claus had died. No really, he’d heard it on the news this morning. He was so sorry, but no Christmas from Santa.


We would moan and cry and throw ourselves to the floor. Really? Dead? Santa? How can it be!!! And then we’d line up on the stairs, youngest to oldest, and wait for our turn to see what he brought. (Choreographed, decidedly.)


It’s a tradition I’d like my husband to carry on with our children. Every so often, lie to them. About something they’re really excited about it. And even if they never believe you, JUST KEEP LYING.


Merry Christmas little ones. Clean up this mess.