"Yes," Haylee's 8 year-old cousin, Abby, answered. "Isn't he, Grama?"
What to answer. I took a deep breath and thought for a moment. Haylee's been taught since a toddler that Santa was a storybook character. Abby's parents taught her that Santa was real. They've always left Santa cookies and milk on Christmas Eve. Abby even showed me the letter she has left for Santa near her fireplace this year, and the pictures she has drawn for him.
Silence was deafening. When I didn't answer, the girls began debating. "My mommy said...". What's a grandmother to do? Haylee knew I'd tell her the truth. "Grama, is Santa real?"
"What does your mommy say?"
"She says he isn't real."
"Well, there you go. Listen to mommy."
"But he is real," Abby reaffirmed. "He leaves me presents. He comes down my fireplace. He comes through the door when people don't have fireplaces. Isn't that right, Grama?" Oh, brother. I did not want to get into this between them.
"Well, Abby, some people believe that. But other people don't."
"See, Haylee," Abby asserted. "Some people believe it. And when some people believe it, then Santa is real."
"And when people don't believe it, then Santa isn't real," Haylee returned.
Abby agreed. And it seemed they had it all worked out. For now, anyway. What Abby will feel later on may create another set of questions altogether. But for now, they'd decided to disagree agreeably. I still feel like I'm gonna get chunks of coal in my stocking though. SelahV