Littlest Guy is eight and he’s decided that there is no Santa Claus… Eight!!!! Okay, I already knew by that age, but still… I thought I had a little more time on it. I, however, was not nearly as upset about this recent turn of events as my Gracie Girl… She’s a smart one, she is… She’s thirteen now and has known the “truth” since she was about Littlest Guy’s age, but she also knows that as soon as they all know the truth, Adios Santa Gifts. And honestly, who doesn’t love waking up to presents?
As heartbreaking as these changes can be – the end of innocent childhood magic, the beginning of cynical adulthood logic… realizations of this kind just turn into comedy at my house. This was our dinnertime discussion last night:
Littlest Guy: I know there’s no Santa.
Me: Oh, do you now? And why do you say that?
Littlest Guy: Because I know. (He eyes me with his ever-famous mischievous grin). You and Dad leave the presents Christmas morning.
Gracie Girl: Of course, there’s a Santa. Why would you think there’s no Santa?
Littlest Guy: Well.. How does he get to all the houses in the whole world in just one night?
Gracie Girl: He splits it up, silly. When it’s daytime here, it’s nighttime on the other side of the world… he delivers the gifts where it’s night first, and then goes to the other side of the planet.
Littlest Guy: (grrrrr) That’s against the laws of physics.
Gracie Girl: No it’s not. You haven’t started studying physics yet. Wait a few years. You’ll understand it better.
(Meanwhile, oldest son is watching the other two with amused curiosity. Having finished his dinner, he pushes back his plate and gets up.)
Oldest Son: I’m not messing with the fat man. Can I be excused?
(Oldest Son bolts as soon as I give him the okay… mind you, he already knows, I’ve heard his whispered conversations with his sister… he’s just not dumb enough to make sure there’s no Santa Gifts on Christmas morning)
Littlest Guy: Okay. Even if he could get to every house, how does he get in? Not every house has a chimney. What about apartments, or like our house – no fireplace, the chimney goes to the furnace?
Gracie Girl: Oh, yeah. The fireplace thing is just a story. Really, Santa has a magical key that works on every lock in the whole world. He’s had it since way back in his criminal days.
Littlest Guy’s eyes widen and his mouth pops open.
Gracie Girl: Didn’t you know? Oh yeah. Santa used to be a master criminal. He pulled the most amazing heists ever! That’s why he became Santa and started giving presents to everyone once a year – it’s kind of like a penance to make up for his past misdeeds. He’s paying back karma.
Littlest Guy: Okaaaaay, well what about the reindeer? How can reindeer fly?
Gracie Girl: Steroids.
Littlest Guy: Steroids? They can’t do that.
Gracie Girl: Sure they can. But only to special reindeer. If you tried them, they’d only make you sick. Say no to drugs, man.
Littlest Guy: Well, what about the elves? Where did he get them?
Gracie Girl: Don’t you know what elves are? They’re midgets (I have to admit, I completely lost it at this point and had to walk away from the table… I listened to the rest of the conversation from the kitchen sink). Santa takes midgets, er, umn, little people, and convinces them to work in his sweatshop.
Gracie Girl: Yeah, that.
Littlest Guy: Like slave labor? He just kidnaps them and makes them be elves?
Gracie Girl: No. It’s strictly voluntary. But he lures them with the drugs.
Littlest Guy and Me: WHAT?!!!!
Gracie Girl: Yeah, Santa makes lots of trips to the black market to stock up on steroids for the deer and crack for to keep the elves productive. Happy Reindeer, high elves, everybody wins.
Me: Okay, stop.
Littlest Guy: Yeah, Grace. Besides, even if there were midgets working there all the time, how would they know what toys to make? They wouldn’t know how to make the ones just like in the stores.
Gracie Girl: Oh, that! Yeah, you know those fake Santa Clauses like at the mall? Yeah, well they work for the real Santa. And they’re real smart. They might look like goofy, acne prone adolescents, but really they’re secret agents for the fat man… and they come and bring detailed diagrams of all the new toys to the elves.
Okay, I’m easily amused. Maybe I should just throw my hands up and tell him there’s no Santa… better than taking the chance my 8 year old will be repeating the crack-addicted elf version of the story at school.