Q Explains Santa
The child came into the room quietly and looked up to me with curious eyes.
"Is Santa real?" she asked.
I knew then it was time to let her in on the terrible truth.
"Sit down, kid. You're going to want to be sitting down for this." I said, offering a seat, blanket, and juice pouch.
"Well, is he?" she asked again, comfortable, but unwavering.
"The short answer is 'yes' but the truth is a great deal more complicated." I said, pulling up a chair of my own and cracking open a much needed root beer.
"You see, Santa is real, but dead, and entombed in Bari, Italy in the Basilica de Nicholai." I explained, trying my best to get through it, "There is actually more than a little debate as to whether or not the bones in Bari represent the actual skeleton of Santa, that claim is contested by Myra, Turkey."
At this point her eyes are as big as dinner plates.
"The original Santa was a good, but rather eccentric man who was born somewhere between the 5th and 12th century in Anatolia." I continued, now with some confidence. "I don't have the records, but I believe his middle name was something like Krampus or Naughty Nicholas, but that could just be a story. We do know that he died in Turkey, but the date is still being debated. I think that it was during the siege of Myra, but it could also have been the Battle of Nicea, or somewhere in the Crusades. So, yes, Santa Claus, the immortal elf/god you know today, is a real person."
Her face has fallen at this point.
"But?" I ask, concerned.
"What about my dad?" she asks, almost in tears. "My dad makes my presents."
"Well, yes, your dad is an extraordinary case." I answer, trying to pick the right words. "He knows all the things I know, but doesn't have the training I do."
At this point she is crying.
"But what about Christmas Eve?" she sniffles.
"Oh, Christmas Eve is real, I just don't know when it is." I said.
"But we have a chimney! Where is the chimney?!" She cries, nearly inconsolable.
It is now that I know I have messed up. Big time. The kid knows more about Santa than I have been taught. I'm in a dangerous position here.
"We're going to get a pizza, and I am going to buy you an ice cream, and we're going to do this from the beginning, again." I said.
And we did.
But never, ever, ever again.
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