I don't remember exactly when it was that I became concerned that maybe Santa was, perhaps, embelished... but it had to be older than six, right??
Gracie is, sadly, already getting a bit wise to some things. Earlier this year when we visited the Easter Bunny, after we walked away, Gracie pulled me aside (away from where Tessa could hear), and whispered to me in an alarmed tone, "Um, Mama, that's a person in a bunny suit." A bit caught off guard... I said, "Well, I'm sure the Easter Bunny has helpers." She looked at me as if she couldn't believe I was actually telling her that... but she let it go.
Last week after Tessa's singing debut at school, we went to the mall and paid a visit to Santa. Gracie was very eager to visit him, and unlike her sister who had had enough of sitting on his lap after about 5 seconds, we had to tell Gracie to "get up" because it was time to go. She probably would have hung out with Santa and talked his ear off all night. She was so excited to have told Santa what she wanted, and I left thinking this is excellent... she doesn't suspect a thing.
On Wednesday I had Gracie alone with me in Wal-Mart. It was around 9:30 AM, and as we were walking in, there happened to be a Santa there at the Wal-Mart, just passing through. He was in his full suit (had a real beard and everything), and was buying, oddly enough, some bread and lettuce.
We walked by the checkout lines where he was with about three or four children gathered around him. Gracie waited her turn, and then walked up and said hello. He was very friendly to her, and asked her all the regular questions, you know, "Have you been a good girl," yada, yada, yada... and then he finished with "Now, what do you want for Christmas?"
Gracie looked at me, puzzled, and then back to Santa, and said, "Well, don't you remember? I already told you the other day at the mall."