When you start talkin’ up Santa Claus to your newborn, what you don’t realize is that you’re setting yourself up for a sordid life of deceit. Keeping the magic alive involves a lot of work, and before you know it, you’re sneaking around buying gifts, speed wrapping them in a closet like some kind of Japanese game show contestant, and hiding them in places you yourself have no ability to recall come Christmas Eve night.
Because you had no foresight when you started the tradition, every year you have to buy yourself a gift from Santa or remind your husband to do it himself.
You have to make sure he wraps the gift in the specially designated “Santa” paper and labels it with a black Sharpie marker using Santa Script.
You have to remind him to dot his “i”s with a puffy heart and write his lower case “a”s in Times New Roman Sans Serif and then your husband is like, “Why don’t you just wrap and label this frikkin’ gift yourself?”
You spend so much time tracking him on NORAD and making up intricate explanations for Santa’s omniscience and magical powers of bilocation, that by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, you half believe that he’s really coming over.
You hope the reindeer find organic parsnips acceptable in lieu of carrots and debate whether they should be left on the cookie plate or the front steps.
You wonder whether it would be more believable if the reindeer left no trace of parsnip in their wake, or just the ends intact.
In the end, you break the parsnips in half and ask your husband to gnaw them down to the nubbin with his teeth.
You can’t even catch a break on Christmas morning because you have to remember which gifts came from Santa and which gifts came from you.
You have to shoot daggers with your eyes at relatives and friends who say point blank in front of your kid, “Where did you buy him that drum set?” And when they keep talking about it despite the fact that you are convulsing on the living room floor trying to pantomime, “STOP TALKING HE BELIEVES IN SANTA CLAUS OMG,” you have no choice but to tackle that person to the ground.
Despite all of this, you don’t much regret perpetrating the myth. Because you were a skeptical child who strong armed your parents into telling you the truth when you were but four years old, and now you wish you had believed for just a little while longer.
Because it is so much fun. And because as long as Santa is real, the world is a benign place where anything can happen, all of it good.