Who knew a dude in a red fur coat could cause so much extra work?
Yes, I'm talking about Santa. When your kids are toddlers, it's so much fun telling them the fairy tale. And so darn easy to keep up the ruse. They dictate a letter to you and wander off to play, no questions.
When they get a little older, they're still foolable, though you've got to come up with an evidenciery facade, such as footprints, letters of reply, explanations about the mall Santa and why he smelled like beer, special wrapping paper from Santa.
The plot thickens.
Then your kids can spell and you and dh can no longer spell out certain ideas - you've got to make up a secret code language. You now need special gift tags for the gifts with special paper, wrapped away and secretly stowed in the attic, not to be put under the tree until Christmas Eve. Scraps of the special paper must be disposed of discreetly, the remainder of the roll hidden away. Christmas morning, there'd better be reindeer teeth marks on those remaining stubs of carrots you left for Santa and Rudolph. And the handwriting on Santa's gift tags had better not be the same as Mom's or Dad's. Oh, and those letters to Santa? Signed and sealed in secret - and they watch you slide them into the mailbox at the post office.
Oh, the trickery, the spy games (ever try to steam open an envelope that has that sticky type seal instead of the old glue kind, huh?), the bald-faced lies. And bringing in the older kids to help? It certainly smacks of conspiracy.
Well, no matter. I'm 99% sure my youngest knows what's going on. She's masterminded a plan to sneak out to the couch and sleep - wait for Santa. Daddy did the same when he was a bit younger than her, and reports it broke his heart. I imagine she'll feel the same way.
Now I wonder - will next Christmas be easier without all this sneaking around, or will it just seem empty?