SciFi Dad had a contest where he was giving away a free phone call Santa. There’s this company called Santa Speaking and they take a bunch of info from you about your kids, and then have Santa call them and blow their minds.
I totally won that contest.
They asked me 8,529 questions per child, and not just the names and ages stuff, but questions like, “What do they need to work on?” and “What have they asked Santa for” and “What are their favorite colors?” I picked the date and time of the call; the 22nd, between 2 and 3. Of course, there was 15 billion feet of snow on the ground at 2pm on the 22nd, and of course the kids were all out sledding, so I called them home and told them that I was ‘worried about someone breaking a leg,’ and ‘could y’all just play close to the house for me so I don’t have to freak out?’ I can’t believe that worked, either.
The phone rang at 2:15 and I answered it. “Hello?”
“HO HO HO! Merrrrry Christmas!”
“Is this Santa?” “Of course it is! HO HO HO!” “Well, let me get the kids for you!”
I called them inside. I told them the phone was for them and they would never ever believe who was on the other end. 2of3 took the phone first. I only heard his end of the call, which started out with a nervous giggle and something of a smirk, turned into a bunch of how did you know THAT’s and ended with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on a kid’s face. 1of3 asked me halfway through 2of3’s chat, “Is he talking to Uncle Gnilleps?”
“No, man, it’s even better. Just wait.”
1of3 took the phone and said hello. And then he rolled his eyes. And then he listened. He uh-huhed a lot in the beginning, and as their talk went on, his eyes got wider and wider and he smiled bigger and bigger. All the while, 20f3 was jumping around the house screaming, “Mom, it was really Santa! He knew EVERYTHING! He knew we’re from Denver, he knew I have to focus more at school, he knew about our letter ornament on the tree! It was REALLY Santa!” 1of3 said goodbye, handed the phone to me, and after we all sang Santa a Christmas song and had hung up, I noticed his hands were shaking. I looked at his face, and their were tears streaming down his cheeks.
I asked what was wrong and he just asked, “Mom, did you tell him to call? You have to tell me the truth.” I said no, that I knew Santa’s number but had no idea he knew ours. He stifled back his tears and in an almost-whisper said, “Mom, it was really Santa.”
I know, baby; I know it was.
And that was when I realized that my son, my little baby, didn’t believe in Santa anymore, or was at least totally on the fence about the whole thing, right up until that phone call. And now he has no doubts. Now, he has empirical proof. Now, he’s got that magic back, maybe only for another year or so, but it’s there.
And that, my friends, is what it’s all about.
It’s about seeing my kids believe in something beyond them. It’s about showing them how to have faith in something they can’t touch, that they’ll never really be absolutely certain of, but that they want to believe in. It’s about keeping a glimmer of misty-eyed wonder in their eyes, and I would happily cough up the $60 the call would have cost me anytime to make sure they have that as long as they can.