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Some truths about Christmas that we've always known, but have rarely acknowledged...

“Santa works at the North Pole,” the boy told his younger sister. “He lives there with Mrs. Claus, his team of elves, and his magical flying reindeer.

“Wrong, big brother,” his sister replied. “Santa’s from outer space.”

“Outer space?” the boy gasped. “He is not!”

“Is too!”

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“Shhh,” their father hushed as he entered their kitchen. “I told you two to use your inside voices. Your mother is taking a nap before dinner. Remember, she has to work tonight.”

“Sorry dad,” the boy said.

“We forgot,” the girl added.

“That’s okay,” their father smiled as he sat at the table next to his children. “I don’t think you woke her. But tell me, what are you arguing about?”

The children looked at each other and then at their father. They knew he could solve their disagreement. He always seemed to have the right answer.

“He said that Santa is from the North Pole,” the girl told her father.

“And she said Santa is from outer space,” the boy laughed. “Have you ever heard anything more ridiculous?”

Their father leaned back in his chair and thought about what his children had said before he spoke again.

“Do you know why superheroes wear masks?” their father asked.

The little girl shrugged her shoulders but her brother offered an answer.

“Superheroes wear masks so no one knows who they really are.”

“That is partially correct,” their father said. “But there is more to it than that.”

“What do you mean?” the girl asked.

“Superheroes wear masks so people don’t recognize who they are, but also so people don’t know who the superhero’s friends and family are,” their father said. “Can you imagine how many people would want to be your friend if they knew, that you knew, who Santa was?”

“Everyone,” the boy exclaimed.

“Exactly,” his father smiled, and then continued. “So, do you think Santa would tell people where he really lived?”

“No way,” the girl said. “People would be knocking on his door all night and day. Reporters would always be asking for interviews, and photographers would be flying in helicopters trying to take pictures. It would be horrible.”

“Precisely,” their father agreed.

“Are you saying that she’s right?” the boy asked. “Are you saying that Santa is from outer space?”

The room fell silent when the children’s mother walked into the kitchen. She was smiling and looked different, but well-rested.

"No, that's not what your father is saying," their mother winked.

The boy and his younger sister now stared at their mother's red suit and the red hat with the fuzzy white ball. Her hair had changed color and she was holding a handful of long, white whiskers that after dinner, the children would witness their mother attach to her face.

"What’s for dinner?" their mother asked. "I’m hungry and I’ve got a busy night ahead.”


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