Red Returns

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The exciting conclusion to Childlike Faith

They say truth is stranger than fiction. I suppose that’s true, and I further suppose it’s why I’m not a fiction writer. I have a hard enough time chronicling the real-life events of my household.

I am becoming increasingly aware that my reality as a Dad, a grown up, and a man, differs greatly than that of my children.

I brought to you the story of Childlike Faith, in which Gabriel asked Red, our Shelf Elf, to have Santa fix his dog-chewed McDonald’s toy. I thought it would make for interesting reading. In an effort to engage my audience, I posed the questions “What should I do?” and “Does anyone know where I can find one of these toys?”

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What I didn’t realize was the length to which people would go to help a kid keep his belief in Santa and all that is magical alive. The post was shared 65 times on Facebook alone!

In a wonderful expression of good will and generosity, a lovely lady named Vanessa ordered Gabe a toy on Ebay, as I mentioned in Christmas Spirit Confirmed!

Well, the toy came in and I was ready to have Red “return” it to Gabe.  I prepared the site, complete with pen in Red’s arms, and a note craftily written with my left hand.

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All that was left to do was get to the kitchen before the kids, “discover” the toy, and let them know.  This would give me the excuse to pull out my iPad and film their reaction.

Naturally, I had the conclusion played out in my head something like this:
  • The kids would see that Red came through, and that Santa is alive and well.
  • They’d go crazy, amazed at the fact that “Yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.”
  • I would get to bask in the glow that comes from keeping this faith alive.
Of course, that’s not at all what happened.

To begin with, it wasn’t Gabe’s idea to employ Red as courier in the first place. Olivia, seeing how distraught Gabe was after losing his new toy, took it upon herself to ask Santa. So, my 9-going-on-25 year old, the first one I thought would give up the belief, was the one to spring into action.

Secondly, she had been starting to wonder if everything had gone OK, simply because it’s been a little while. She told me over toast this morning that she had planned on climbing the hutch later to peer inside the potted plant to see if Red had actually taken the toy to the North Pole with him. She couldn’t see well from her vantage point, and wanted to make sure everything had gone as she suspected it would.

Thirdly, I was surprised by their lack of surprise. If you listen to the video, I keep expressing my disbelief, hoping to get the same reaction from them (and of course dissuade anyone from thinking I’m involved). They’re excited, but not surprised.

Isn’t that what faith is though, really?

If they were to ask for something, then be shocked when it was granted, I’d wager they didn’t have much faith to begin with. It doesn’t seem like either one of them ever doubted that this little miracle was possible – or even improbable.

If you look at Liv’s letter, she admits to a little bit out doubt; but she never let on to the rest of us.

There’s a lesson we can all learn from right there.

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