So this was originally supposed to be a holiday picture book roundup, like I do every year, but then my ten-old-niece and I had to have the “Is Santa real?” discussion in real life, and even looking at the rest of the Santa books is too much for today, so here you go, let’s talk about The Day Santa Stopped Believing In Harold. What a good, non-cynical twist on the “Is Santa real?” story; what if Santa stopped believing in one particular child, instead of that child not believing in him? This flip on the story, – his familiar arguments, his insistence on finding proof of Harold’s existence, his little illustrated side eye as he battles through his disbelief- all of them are spot on, and earn high marks for a new holiday favorite, even if you are not a slightly traumatized ten-year-old and her bean-spilling aunt.
By the way – how did you guys handle the Santa spoiler? My niece is smart enough to know when I’m bs-ing her, so I asked if she wanted the truth, and when she said she did, she got it. BUT I made sure we talked about how, even though I know Santa isn’t one old, chubby guy in a red coat, I still really believe in Santa. I said that Santa is all the people in your life who love you, working together to make Christmas time extra special for you, and that, even knowing the truth about the Santa, I believe in that spirit. You guys, I don’t know how much of the “yes Virginia” I pulled off, but I think she could tell that at least it was authentic. I told her that now that she knows, that means she is officially promoted to Team Santa, and that means she a) can’t spoil the secret for anybody else and b) gets to help make everybody else’s Christmas extra special, however she can. She’s a little bummed about the big guy, (although she’s definitely at the right age for spoiling, because she said “It is kind of creepy to think that he knows if I’m sleeping or awake: that’s weird and gross.”), but she is super psyched to be on Team Santa, so hopefully, there’s enough magic in that jolly old guy to keep us going. (On the plus side: The Elf on the Shelf has turned into a game between her and her brother and I. Do. Not. Have. To. Remember. To. Move. The. Damn. Thing. Any. More. so Yay!)
(My copy of this book was provided, free of charge, by NetGalley. Thanks NetGalley!)