Sunday, December 18, 2005


This is probably the last Christmas the eight year old will believe that a big whiskered fellow in a red suit delivers the presents that so reliably appear under the tree every 25th of December. That is, assuming she still believes in the old elf.

Santa has become a delicate subject in this household. The eight year old no longer asks us about how he performs his wonderous feats. She barely mentions his name, in fact. Occasionally she will volunteer that she would like a particular item as a Chrismas gift, but doesn't suggest we pass this nugget on to Santa. I assumed that she had begun entertaining grave doubts as to his existence and guessed that her parents were somehow behind the wrapped gift beat. Being a clever and conservative child, she probably doesn't want to rock the present boat by letting us know that she knows. We seem to be so entertained by this piece of make believer, after all, even going so far as to procure a pile of toys to "magically" appear on Christmas day! We must really have it bad--but since it's to her benefit so why mess with success?

But now I'm not so sure. It seems she peppered last night's babysitter with pointed inquiries: How does Santa get down those chimneys if he's so fat? And, more challengingly, why do so many of the presents bear tags from Target? To which the babysitter replied (and this is, truly, why she deserves her astronomical hourly rate): well, that's so if you get an identical item from someone else, you can return Santa's gift to the store.

I wonder if Target knows about this scam.


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