This holiday season has me reliving my bar star days (just stay with me, I swear you’ll get it!). T he soundtrack of my time in the bars was always Journey. It’s not that I’m really that old, it’s just that my favourite bar had a lot of cover bands. “Don’t Stop Believing” was the highlight of a memorable Friday night, and now it’s my silent mommy prayer to the universe. Don’t stop believing, little man.
Haven’t figured it out just yet? I’m talking about Santa, of course!
He’s never said outright he doesn’t believe, but apparently one of his classmate’s caught his parents sneaking presents under the tree one Christmas morning, which has raised some questions about the authenticity of the burly fellow in the red suit in his young mind. He raised the issue with me once and I mumbled something unintelligible but hopefully convincing. I mean, everyone is entitled to a defence, even Santa. While I defended Santa like a good lawyer would, my son examined the crisis of faith with the eye of a detective.
He tried to recruit me to assist in his fledgling investigation. He said he kept his note from Santa from the previous Christmas and he asked if I wouldn’t mind checking it out and seeing if it’s consistent with his father’s handwriting. On the down low, of course. I couldn’t help but smile. I looked at my co-conspirator and shook my head. Don’t stop believing, I prayed silently.
It’s a selfish prayer. I love making Christmas morning magical. I’m not really a holiday person, as a non-conformist who hates being told by the greeting card industry when to be thankful, when to express love and when to celebrate the spirit of giving. Even as a festive season anarchist, Santa was a magical part of the proceedings I enjoyed bringing to life for my little boy and a chance to relive my own childhood vicariously through his eyes.
He’s stopped asking about it for now at least. He’s intuitive enough to see when I’m invested in something and goes along with it to save my feelings. I don’t know if Journey can help me on this one. As much as they could make my Friday night, I’m not sure their catchy but repetitive refrain will keep my son believing in magic. I can’t deny he’s getting older and growing up, but I’d be lying if I said it’s not hard to watch. Don’t stop believing, little man, but if you must, maybe just don’t mention it to Mommy, okay? If not for my sake, we wouldn’t want to let Journey down.
Do your kids still believe in Santa?