Allow me to set the scene for you.
When I was in fourth grade, there was a boy in my class named Scott. We were in the same reading group, we always tied on math tests, and we were the same level of brownnoser when it came to teachers. So of course we were sworn enemies.
(Sidenote: I’m happy to tell you that after years of endless competition, Scott and I became good friends in high school and beyond. Ten year old Sandy would feel absolutely betrayed if she knew that as we got older Scott and I were such good friends that I even attended his wedding. But I digress.)
The problem with Scott is that I could just never beat him. And then one day, he brought up Santa Claus and insisted that he didn’t exist. I knew for a fact Santa was real. And I could prove it to him. He was not going to win this debate.
“Okay, so if Santa isn’t real, how come my older sister still believes in him?” I asked. “She’s twenty and she told me she saw Rudolph on the roof of our house once.” I said this with the kind of confidence only a ten year old debating the reality of Santa Claus can say things.
He scoffed. “She just told you that to make you believe. Your parents probably told her to say that!”
“They would never!” I said, completely indignant. “Also my parents don’t have enough money to buy all those toys and presents. They have four kids.”
“They save up all year or something,” he said. “And how are we supposed to believe that Santa does it all that in one night?”
“Magic!” I said. “And time zones!”
I don’t remember exactly what happened after that, but I know I felt triumphant about the argument. I was certain that I’d won and completely sure that Santa was real, as if I had talked myself back into believing at a time when that belief had been wavering.
And no joke, that debate fueled my belief in Santa for at least another two years. I was filled with righteous indignation. To the point where a couple Christmases later, the same older sister who told me she’d seen Rudolph finally sat me down to tell me the truth. Luckily I was older and wiser and didn’t feel as indignant.
But it was nice to hold onto my childhood a little longer.
Santa continues to be near and dear to my heart. He is real as the spirit of Christmas is real. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Sandy. It was a pleasure hosting you on the blog. Looking forward to your next book.