Ruined the magic

When I was 5 my sister told me Santa was dead.

In her defence she was 12 years old, I was bugging her incessantly and it was Christmas time. So she took the lowest blow she could think of and blasted me with it. It worked, I stopped bugging her immediately. I stood there, mouth a gasp, bottom lip trembling. Could this be true? Why was she the only one who knew? What did this mean for Christmas…presents!? She looked at me and in an effort to soften the blow she corrected herself by saying “he’s not dead, he just doesn’t exist”. I ran to my father in tears begging to know if Santa was as nonexistent as my sister claimed. My father had a couple of options here, he could have told me she was full of shit or he could have told me she was right. Instead he decided to tell me this:

“Santa is the spirit of Christmas. The spirit of giving and the spirit of magic. He might not live in a house in the North Pole, but he lives in us, in our hearts. I believe in Santa, I always will. You can’t get gifts from Santa if you don’t believe”.
This was a good explanation. A reasonable explanation. Made sense, don’t believe = no presents from Santa, well ok then. I accepted. Not only because I could choose to keep believing, but also because it meant that my sister was very likely not getting any gifts from Santa as far as I could tell. It made sense to me on a deeper level too (even at 5) because I knew that not everybody celebrates Christmas, and so Santa wasn’t real to them. And Christ, I loved magic, still do. I never want to stop believing in magic and fantasy. Santa *IS* the spirit of Christmas. He’s what makes Christmas so great – the giving to others, the lessons about kindness, the fantasy, the stories, and of course the childlike emotions of excitement and glee!
When I am done all my holiday shopping and I pass by a store and I buy just one more thing. That perfect thing…that’s Santa. He’s in the smiles and the love between friends and family giving each other gifts. He is generosity and charity.
The Bean had been asking me for two years about Santa. The rumours in school were getting louder, less “secret” like. Kids with older siblings were spilling their beans about what they claimed was the truth “the parents buy the presents, there is no Santa Clause”. For two years she asked “Is Santa real?” and for two years I answered “Bean, some people believe in God. Nobody has seen God, nobody can prove whether God truly exist, but still, people believe in God. It is your choice what you believe in. I believe in Santa and magic. Whatever you believe is true to you”.

I thought this was a satisfactory answer, actually I thought it was an awesome answer. It appears all Bean heard from that was “I believe in Santa” and “whatever you believe is true to you

How could I guess that she hadn’t caught the hidden implication that Santa was more a spirit of the season and less a real jolly old man in the North!? She literally took me literally – thanks a lot Asperger’s! And because I assumed that for two years she had just been stringing me along with this type of questioning just because she wanted to talk about the magic and the believing I also assumed that when she asked again this year, and I told her what my dad had told me years ago when I was 5 that she would be fine. That she might grin and say she always knew. I could then further explain that Saint Nicholas was a real man from Holland, but that “Santa Clause”, as we see him today was invented by Coca Cola. It would be educational, it would be fun.

Apparently I still have a whole lot to learn about Autism because when I told her Santa was less of a real man then the spirit of Christmas that pushes us to buy/make/give a little bit extra even when we are done. He is the spirit of giving and generosity. He’s the magic of Christmas…

She lost her shit!

She started plugging her ears, humming “Santa’s not real! Santa’s not real!”. She looked at me accusingly and asked why I would tell her such a thing. The further into “Holy crap what the F have I done land” I went, the worse I seemed to make it. I scrambled, tried to go back to “you choose what you believe in” she practically spat in my face for that one! I talked about the magic and the spirit. I said, “I don’t know!? Maybe he is real – I can’t prove he isn’t!” She shot me death glares. “You buy the presents! YOU do!” she said with such anger that you just knew that wasn’t a good thing. “I’m going to tell Bear” she threatened. “I’m going to tell the World the truth and I’m going to ruin Christmas for him the way you ruined it for me!”. Ruined Christmas!? WTF!? No, this was going too far. She was the one who asked me after all!! I couldn’t let her take away the magic for a four year old. So I told her that there is an address you can send your letter to, it’s supposed to be the North Pole, it’s supposed to be Santa’s house. If we send a letter and Santa responds we will know for sure whether or not he is real, but in the meantime she is not – I repeat! – is not going to blab anything to Bear.

She conceded begrudgingly.

If that F’ing Santa doesn’t send us back an F’ing letter (she insist on being the one to put the mail in the mailbox herself) I’m up shit’s creek without a paddle.

Pardon my French.

But seriously Santa, don’t bail on me now.

I believe! I believe!!

Screen shot 2012-12-04 at 12.25.59 AM


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