Today, my son engaged me in a conversation, during breakfast,
about the possibility that Santa doesn’t exist.
He then asked me if Santa is actually real.

I was caught off guard, to be honest with you.

He then proceeded to explain his theory
of how impossible for him to give every kid around the world
their gifts in one night.
So he concluded that the Parents put all the gifts
under the tree while the kids are asleep.

The kid has always been naturally curious.
Always the inquisitive.
This has been proven due to the fact that he does not have the ability to shut up
whenever he wants to figure something out.

Of course he will ponder this question.
I did the exact same thing when I was his age.

I grew up in the Philippines.
I could not understand how Santa can come to our house.
We do not have chimneys there.

And we open our gifts at the stroke of midnight.
Not on Christmas morning.
So everybody would be awake.
No one can sneak up into our house without me knowing.

Even though there were probably a hundred relatives in our house
which makes finding someone a little difficult,
I did watch all our entry points like a hawk.
No one is getting past the doors or windows without me seeing it.

I do remember a couple of times,
my Mom would “surprisingly” find some gifts placed in weird places.
I got a remote control car in the corner of my room.
That View Master toy I always wanted under the bed.
And she said that Santa probably just sneaked in,
while we were busy eating or having fun with the family.

I didn’t buy her explanation, but I didn’t care much.
I was busy putting the batteries on my new RC car to even bother listening.
And checking out the cool 3D effects that new View Master toy was showing me.

But then, like most things in life.
You figure out stuff on your own.
You come to terms with it.
And you move on.

I started not to care about the existence of the guy in the red suit.
I moved on.

So this morning,
When my son asked me if Santa is actually real,
I had to give him an explanation too.

Then my mind started working
like a Psychologist-Philosopher-Therapist-Teacher all rolled into one.

I said,
“Son. You see, Santa Claus and Christmas Spirit are one and the same.
All the children see Santa as how he is,
then you come to a certain age,
when you see Santa becoming the Christmas Spirit instead.”

I paused. As I see him really paying attention.

“Maybe you are getting to that age now.”

Short and direct.

The kid just continued on eating his breakfast.
Quietly. But still processing what I said in his thoughts.

Maybe I explained it right.
Maybe I explained it wrong.
But I handled it with as much logic as I can find.
How would you have handled it?

He will meet other kids or people
who would make fun of him for believing in something.
Or make fun of his parents who will tell him that they lied to him.

But no matter.
The kid is smart enough to think on his own.
He may not believe me,
But surely he won’t believe anyone who makes fun of him.
All he has to do is believe in what he thinks.
Come to terms with it.
And move on.

Just like most things in life.