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My holiday guilty pleasure is watching cheesy Hallmark movies about Christmas. The couple finally gets over their misunderstanding and they lean in for a kiss …

Gwen: That’s so dramatic! (eye roll) Why do you like these dramatic movies so much?

*sigh* The movies lose a bit of the magic when I watch with my family of mood killers! It’s ok. I still like to watch the movies.

A common theme among these movie plots is a kid getting his letter to Santa answered. Every time I see a story like that I get a little Grinchy as I think how unrealistic it is. Nobody really responds to those letters do they? That’s only for the movies.

Parker is getting to that age. He’s about the age that Gavin was when he found out about Santa. I still feel bad so let’s not talk about it.

I don’t know what Parker thinks about the guy in red. He did read Superfudge on his own. When I read it out loud to the kids I wisely skipped the Santa unveiling part. But Parker read it. He never said anything to me. I’m sure he has friends at school who talk. I did at that age.

Between my friends’ theories and seeing gifts from my parents wrapped in the previous years “Santa paper,” I more or less figured it out. I don’t know what Parker believes. Enough evidence supports Santa’s unveiling for Parker but he wrote a letter to the man in red anyway.

I didn’t want him to send it. I don’t believe the postal service does anything more than chuck those letters in with the paper recycling. But Parker insisted on taking his letter in the sealed envelope out to the mailbox. I tried to blow him off about a stamp. Heath told him he could have a stamp and I was out of excuses. At least he put our return address on the envelope. I expected to see the letter return in a couple days with “Return to Sender” or “Undeliverable” stamped across it.

Even if there is truth to the movies, who would respond to a child with a long list of toys they want? I would imagine if anyone responds to those letters they would only answer the pleas for their parents jobs or possibly diseases to be eradicated. Not a long list of toys.

Gwen is Parker’s rival and could not be outdone by her brother. She also wrote a letter to Santa. She sealed it in an envelope and completely botched our return address. Heath was preoccupied when Parker put the letter in the mailbox. I’m not sure he realized Parker did that until Gwen proudly handed him her own letter to Santa. Heath furtively handed it to me later and told me to hide it. He doesn’t believe in the goodness of the postal service either.

Last night we came home after running some errands. Heath went out to check the mail and came back in with a couple envelopes. One was a festive green envelope addressed to Parker.

Santa had responded.

It was lighthearted talking about how Santa is excited about Christmas too. Santa liked the pictures Parker drew in the margins of the letter. Inside the envelope was a pencil and a Santa head eraser.

Parker was thrilled. It was just the miracle he needed. I think he may have sent the letter as a last ditch effort to find out for himself what the truth about Santa really is. And Santa responded. Or at least some elves in Oakland whose job is to keep children’s hope alive.

Gwen’s letter is still sealed in an envelope in the top of my closet. She wondered where her letter from Santa was last night. Today she has forgotten. She doesn’t need a miracle this year. She’s not quite 7 years old yet and her belief in Santa is iron clad.

But Parker needed to know.
And for another year the magic is still alive.