We took the girls to visit Santa this week; something we've tried to do every year. The line was long, the girls were impatient and when they were finally seated on Santa's lap, Sammy asked Santa for the one thing we weren't able to find for her.
But our Santa is a skilled Santa. He saw how Mommy and Daddy cringed at the mention of the word "Hatchimal" and modified his response accordingly. He said the elves were having a hard time making enough of those up at the North Pole. He asked if there was anything else Sammy wanted and she replied, "Surprise me." Clara and I breathed a sigh of relief.
Well done, Santa. Well done.
We know the number of Christmases where our kids will believe in Santa are finite: for all we know this may be Sammy's last year to believe. But that's OK. I think she'll still want to visit Santa. I still do. Even as an adult whenever I interact with someone in a Santa suit I do feel something. Even though I know it's just a guy in a suit there's still a part of me that gets a little excited and a little nervous like I'm meeting a celebrity. It was like when we had our photo taken with Chewbacca at Disneyland. Of course it was just a tall cast member in a furry suit, but it was still pretty cool for the girls. And for Daddy.
We suspend our disbelief not because we choose to but because it's part of our nature as humans. We want to believe there is magic in the world and so we invent stories and legends and architectures to amplify that world and give it meaning. In doing so we do indeed make the world a more wonderful place.
And so from all of us to all of you, Merry Christmas.