We get a holiday card every year from the medical study Kitty Cat is in. She has a gene. One that's not so great and could someday turn into something chronic (but probably won't). So the people who work for this study poke her and examine her toenail clippings and evaluate our drinking water.
I hate the whole endeavor, to be honest. But I know we're doing something good, helping to advance research, etcetera, etcetera.
The card is festive and is all "Happy Holidays! Season's Greetings! Thank you for collecting your daughter's poop every month and mailing it to our East Coast lab! Thank you for letting us draw her blood far more often than a baby/toddler/preschooler should have her blood drawn! Thank you for the privilege of also testing her for celiac disease and worrying the shit out of you this past summer even though it all came to nothing!! Thank you for opening our letters every three months (with trembling hands) as we send our Yea, she's developing the Evil Antibodies or Nay, she's still good, after every blood test!"
Each person involved in the study signs the card. Because we're all friends. These do-gooders and us.
I glance at it and toss it in the recycle bin.
I'm ambivalent about Santa. We've told the lie and perpetuated it all these years (J. going to great lengths to keep the kids believing). It's fun. It's absurd. It's totally not what Christmas is about. And yet...and yet...I believed as a kid and I don't remember that learning the truth did me great harm.
I do recall extreme irritation when, at 7, I grilled my mom, demanded she tell me definitively if there was a Santa or not. And since Christmas was just days away, she said, "The SPIRIT of Santa Claus is real. We'll talk more in January."
"The Spirit of Santa?" I thought. If I had known WTF then, I certainly would've uttered it. I could not grasp what The Spirit of Santa meant.
Looking back, though, I think she handled it well. And I know Fruit Bat will ask soon. He's already announced that he doesn't believe in magic. Magic is how I've explained so much Santa ridiculousness.
How does Santa get in through our chimney-less gas fireplace? Magic, of course. How does Santa make it to every hut and yurt and house and condo in the world on one night? The big M. How do Santa's elves mold plastic to make it look exactly like the Tonka truck at Toys 'R Us? Why, Magic, my son.
So, the whole gig is blown if he doesn't believe in magic. Which I'm kind of okay with. A few times these last weeks I've been tempted to blurt out the truth. But I haven't. And I shouldn't. Not yet.
There'll be plenty of years during which Fruit Bat and Kitty Cat can hone their cynicism, not enough time for them to just enjoy This.