The presents are wrapped and bagged, the stockings stuffed, and Santa's plate holds only artfully placed crumbs (nothing says Santa was here like crumbs). Visions of racetracks are still dancing in the head of the six-year-old, blissfully unaware that the day he has been counting down toward has arrived.
Six is the magic age for Christmas. Belief in Santa is in full force, egged on by the arrival of a letter from the man himself and reinforced by Mom who reminds him Santa is somehow always watching. His room has been perpetually clean, and he has been treating his sister like a princess, always aware of the omnipresence.
This Santa scheme is a fabulous idea. My parents didn't know what they were missing when they shunned the whole Santa phenomenon during my childhood. I doubt I would have fallen for it. But little William de Scribbler didn't seem to notice that Santa's letter was posted with a one cent stamp, uncancelled (I'm
cheap a tightwad
a monetary genius), or that it arrived on Christmas Eve, a mail-free Sunday. He may have questioned why Santa must have skim chocolate milk, but was alert enough to hush me when I mentioned Santa's waistline.
Sure, many of the inconvenient discrepancies of Santa can be explained away with magic; a billion children served in one night is easily the result of time zones and super sonic sleigh speed; Santa's handwriting looks like Mommy's, but so does many people's -- it's a popular style; it's true that most reindeer don't have red noses, but Rudolph drinks a lot. It's a stressful job.
And the six-year-old is now awake and dancing with excitement. Yes, he commented on the cookie crumbs.
Merry Christmas! (Or glædelig Jul
, if you prefer.)