Charlie no longer believes in Santa Claus.
Worse than that -- he's taken it upon himself to make sure his sister knows that, too. Blurg!!
I've been explaining to him (quietly) that it's not fair for him to take away his sister's enjoyment. Sometimes he agrees, and sometimes he (loudly) points out that I'm suggesting that he's right about the less than real St. Nick. Other times I take a less than quiet tone, and suggest that those who don't believe in Santa don't get presents from him on Christmas morning. He never cares for that idea, but it never lasts long. Next thing you know we're out somewhere, see a Santa, and all of a sudden he's back to destroying his sister's hopes and dreams.
I don't remember when I stopped believing, but I do remember being her age and looking out the window with my brother. We were living in Germany at the time, and from the third floor of our building we had a pretty decent view of the sky. I have a clear memory of my brother pointing to a moving red light and telling me that's probably Santa's sleigh. I clearly remember humoring him and agreeing, wanting him to feel good about it. I was seven and he was twelve, so it wasn't about him believing -- it was about him believing I believed. This makes me wonder just where Noelle stands.
The other day she asked me, "Mom, do you wake up in the middle of the night and put presents out and eat the cookies and carrots?" I very honestly answered no. Because I don't do it in the middle of the night. I do it right after she falls asleep. (I should have been a lawyer.)
I think we'll still be putting out cookies and milk this year. And carrots for the reindeer. Maybe we won't all believe that Santa is coming in during the night and leaving presents for good little boys and girls, but he'll still live in our hearts. Hopefully for a long time to come.