I thought this Christmas might be a bit bittersweet. My boy is 11 and he learned the truth about Santa this year. Part of me is still in disbelief that he made it this long believing in Santa, but it was still a very hard conversation this year when we told him. He took it hard, but in his typical fashion he bounced back rather quickly.

One of the things I love about this boy (there are too many to count! I love this boy 3000!) is that he is not overly focused on presents. He loves opening them as much as any kid, but he has never been big on demanding specific gifts at Christmas time. As a matter of fact, he seems to enjoy giving the gifts as much as receiving them. He bought my wife and I both presents this year with his own, earned, money. He had such a big heart. I am so thankful for that!

As I was saying, I had a feeling that this time around would be bittersweet. He has written a letter to Santa every year. He always pulls out the milk and treat. Over the past several years he had been leaving out veggies instead of cookies. In his opinion, Santa has enough cookies to be getting on with. He also would leave carrots out for the reindeer.

So, every year I would go in and, like a good Santa, drink the milk, eat the treat, and put the carrots back in the fridge. I gnawed the carrots down one year to make it look like they’d been eaten by the reindeer, but then I watched the Santa Clause 2 movie and Santa made a good point that the Reindeer would eat them whole and wouldn’t leave any behind…so I never did that again. I also wrote back to him every year reassuring him that he had been a good boy throughout the year. With those things complete, we would put out the one gift from Santa (all the other gifts he got were from Mom and Dad).

On Christmas morning there was always excitement that Santa had come. He was always pleased that the milk and treats were gone and that Santa had written back to him on his letter. Then he always turned his attention to our family stuff.

He surprised me tonight. He set out milk and fudge with a note that said “Santa, I love you.” He had told us he was going to set out the treats. He didn’t tell me about the note. There was nothing bitter about this evening.

He doesn’t have to wait on Santa anymore. That’s ok. Now, he knows the truth….and he still believes in the magic of the season. I love this boy!

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