I look at the rear view mirror as I park into the garage. She is deep in thought. Before she can ask another question, I say, "He does that in countries where houses have chimneys. Here, he probably goes through ... the window." Uh-oh, I think I just drew a picture of Santa looking like a burglar. Not good. "And maybe the reindeer ... are ... enchanted!" I use the word enchanted a lot, it still works sometimes. But then comes the next question. We are in Brain Quest mode now. "How can Santa bring all those gifts around the world in just one night?" Aha. My mind is finally working. I use this as a chance to slide in what I've been wanting to teach her about Christmas.
"God gives Santa the power to do that. See, God is Santa's boss. All those gifts come from Him -they make it in the North Pole but they can't do that without Him. Santa's just the messenger." I think it flies over her head, but she keeps silent. I know she is pondering this ... and that is a good thing.
The questions stop for now. I make a mental note to look for a book about the real story behind Santa. I know that soon I'll have to decide when and how to tell ... that a long time ago, a bishop named Nicholas gave up all his wealth to serve God, bringing glad tidings to the poor and cheer to the little ones. And when he did, everyone made it to the list.