Saturday, November 20

Eating Breakfast With Santa

My Saturday morning ritual of reading the newspaper
at Denny's was punctuated with a visit from Santa.
He sat a few booths away. Unassuming, street clothes,
a really big guy. The give-away was the flowing white
beard. Our waitress, who had just complained about
Jingle Bell Rock playing in the background, perked up
and started the conversation.

Yeah, he was working one of the malls. A 'rookie.' His
Santa mentor had just died. He was probably nervous, but
I couldn't tell since his back was to me. Never saw his
face. The waitress carried on about her three kids. The
eight-year-old screamed and cried about having to sit on
Santa's lap last year, so would never do it again. The
almost four-year-old would be the most likely sitter this
year. Apparently there is an unpredictable willingness to
venture onto unfamiliar territory.

I still don't like this idea of lying to your kids. We
think it's harmless, but I disagree. In a world that is
full of advertised and unadvertised lies, kids need a
good dose of truth. Tell them Santa is a fake before he
comes down the chimney and they'll understand. They'll
still love you. Maybe more.

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