By Amy M.
The story of Santa was alive and well in our interfaith household this year. Alex believed strongly in jolly old Saint Nick and was thrilled to discover the plate with cookie crumbs and half-eaten carrots on Christmas morning. I think he considered that better proof of Santa's existence than the presents under the tree.
Keeping up the ruse was more challenging than I anticipated, especially because Santa was not a fixture in my Jewish upbringing. I found myself asking Alex questions to see if he accepted the Santa story at face value, or if he had thought it out.
"So how does Santa get to everyone's house in one night?" I asked. "He flies, and that's faster than driving," Alex replied.
"We don't have a chimney, so how does Santa get in our house?" I asked. "He comes in through the front door," Alex said. "But why don't we hear him?" I pressed. "Because he tiptoes!" Alex exclaimed.
That's when I realized I had a true believer on my hands. And it was really a lot of fun to see Alex's excitement on Christmas morning. We always have family Hanukkah celebrations that include lots of gift-giving (and opening), but I guess there's something special about coming downstairs on Christmas and discovering presents under the tree.
Like babies who enjoy the packaging more than the gift inside, Alex was most excited about an inexpensive item he found in his stocking—marshmallow Peeps in snowman and Christmas tree form. In his excitement, he started calling them "Bo Peeps." Eventually we corrected him, but hearing his glee as he discussed his "Bo Peeps" made for a funny holiday memory.
It will be interesting to see whether Alex believes in the Easter Bunny this year. We don't really celebrate the holiday, but around Easter usually give him a "springtime basket" with a small toy and some candy. And what will he find in that basket? His beloved "Bo Peeps."
Amy M. lives in Pennsylvania with her family and works full time as a writer/editor for a large university.