Monday, December 26, 2005

Nick and Santa

Nick is eight. Do eight-year-olds believe in Santa any more? Nick does, or he wants to, anyway. He writes a letter to Santa every year and I hide it, forwarding the contents to folks in my family who might want to play Santa. And we manage to put gifts in stockings and wrap something from Santa every year. Nick puts out cookies and milk for Santa (and this year oats for the reindeer) and leaves notes, which he expects to be answered. (He does this to the Tooth Fairy, too...) This year he asked Santa to name the reindeer, which Santa did--in handwriting that Nick thought looked like Mark's (despite an attempt to disguise it). He didn't press the similarity for long, though.

Last night as he went to bed after a long happy day, Nick was unaccountably sad. "Unaccountably," to me anyway, because he pretty much raked it in yesterday. No clothes (OK, except a shirt from Grandma that he doesn't love and a punch-buggy t-shirt from Mark that he does), various cool things to do, and even the requested Star Wars lego set from Santa. Wrapped in paper that didn't match any other paper under the tree, except the gift for Mariah from Santa. (Mariah plays along beautifully, by the way.)

I asked him why he was sad and he said it was because last year he had three presents from Santa and this year there was only one. (Last year we had Christmas twice, once here and once at my folks, and Santa made his way to both trees...)

And why couldn't Santa bring more Star Wars lego sets anyway, when he has elves to make them? Why did Santa end up buying stuff? Did he just give money to the elves and send them out shopping?

These are unanswerable questions, and Nick was tired, so I just hugged him and read him a chapter of his book and put him to bed. And he didn't ask again.

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