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I doubt that I have many elementary-age readers, but, I’m going to go ahead and say that, if you’ve already penned this year’s letter to Santa, you should probably STOP….READING…..NOW.

Last year around this time, the whole lot of holiday spokespeople/mascots had a hard week at our house. And it was all the tooth fairy’s fault. Once again, the tooth fairy was a few days late in recognizing the loss of a tooth and commemorating it with cash. On a Friday evening, the tooth was lost, and I mean really lost, due to a faulty latch on the plastic tooth container that Will got from his teacher which failed to hold the world’s tiniest bicuspid securely, and it was lost. He had forgotten to put it under his pillow anyway, so the tooth fairy didn’t take the hit on that one.

When it was found to be missing, his grandmother (my mother) asked, in all seriousness, if I thought that we should retrace our steps from the day before. As we had been out to dinner, the mall, and a sold-out high school production of Wizard of Oz, I said “NO”. Even Will thought that was a ridiculous idea. I suggested that Will write a note to the tooth fairy explaining the whole thing. We had done that months earlier, too, when his very first lost tooth had vanished, presumably swallowed during a brother-on-brother throw down. At the time, he was a little disappointed that I was unwilling to sift through his next few bowel movements. He reminded me that I had done just that the year before when his brother swallowed the bottle part of the message-in-the-bottle from a Playmobil pirate set. I told him that had qualified as a health scare, and I wasn’t about to do that for a tooth smaller than a peppercorn.

The note is written and we ALL fall asleep, exhausted from our visit to Grammy’s and the above-mentioned theatre-production which was longer than any of the Harry Potter movies. The next morning, Will confronted me in the bathroom, before I was even officially awake.

“Gimme a dollar”

“Huh? Why?”

“Because the stupid tooth fairy didn’t come again, and you’re probably her anyway, Shelby said so at school. You’re probably Santa Claus, too, you cookie-stealing freak.”

I followed the gameplan for any sticky situation…Deny, deny, deny.  He seemed to buy it, but left us with the threat, “If I ever find out you LIED to me about something like this, I’m gonna be SO mad.”

They’re 9-year-olds this Christmas. If believing in Santa Claus is getting old for them, I am TOTALLY ready to give it up….for the following reasons…

1) I’m dying to take credit for the game/toy/scooter that I visited twenty stores to find.

2) Lately, the kids go to bed (or at least to their rooms to wind down) right around the time WE go to bed. Lest you think we are all night owls, the husband and I like to be in bed by 10 at the latest — say 9:30 most nights. Setting an alarm for the middle of the night to get up and put out eggs, toys, or tooth money makes for s restless night.

3) Our gifts to the boys, given on Christmas Eve have traditionally been a new pair of winter PJs and a movie DVD for us to watch as a family. I thought it was sweet. Last year, I brought out the gifts only to hear, “Seriously, Mom? Let me guess, it’s the same old pajamas and a movie deal.”  If they’re that jaded — I’m all for ripping the bandaid off of all of their beliefs.

4) I know them, and the longer this goes on, the worse the reveal is going to be. They pride themselves on being very tough skeptics, and they are going to be PISSED.

I won’t bring it up — but if THEY do, I’m ready for the discussion. Maybe they’re just genetically wired to hold onto Santa just a little bit longer. When I was, umm, heh, heh, 11 years old, my parents sat me down to break it to me gently. They told me the “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” story and asked me if I understood. I skipped out of the room yelling “Santa Claus IS real!!!!”. FAIL.

I love childhood AND Christmas. If I thought the boys would be heartbroken and destroyed if they found out, I’d do my best to preserve the magic. As long as the damn tooth fairy does HER job.

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