“No! There are no phones at the North Pole!”

December 20, 2013

Notable Stats

Santa Believability Ratio (SBR) – Your child’s belief in Santa as it holds up to other children trying to shake that faith.

Elf on the Shelf Movement Area (ESMA) – The amount of feet you must move the Elf on the Shelf overnight to combat naughty behavior.

I hadn’t anticipated that the Santa Claus mythology could play out into conflict. The elf that we keep moving around the house (and rarely on a shelf, like his name would suggest) usually can quell some of edge once they realize he is hovering around ubiquitously, but even he gets forgotten two minutes after they find him. But then again, having two kids 14 months apart, I should have expected they could have a moment where Santa gets shredded in a tug-of-war from pure inaccuracy.

Being wrong about something does not prevent you to be emphatically so, especially given that we, as parents, fed them the misdirected passion.

I did, however, expect that maybe the Santa debate would play out because someone was declaring the other one “naughty” or themselves “nice” or maybe about trying to figure out who was nicer and therefore get a nicer degree of toy.

No, that was not the case. The Santa debate came down on how you can communicate with Santa.

Fair enough.

Our kids know text messaging, but it isn’t yet in the forefront of their electronic-zombie potential yet. So that was not part of the debate. It was how one can reach Santa to update their requests. I really wanted to stay out of it, since I was hoping no one would start screaming or yelling, but as our son is prone to do lately, he likes to drown out a wayward idea through sheer volume. But not before I was blessed with the wisdom of true belief.

So the conversation between my five and four year old went something like this…..

Son – “Dad, how do you get to the North Pole?”

Dad – “Well, it isn’t easy.”

Son – “I need to talk to Santa.”

Dad – “OK. There are other ways to talk to Santa than going to the North Pole.”

Daughter – “You don’t have to go there, you can just call.”

Son – “You cannot call the North Pole! Santa does not have any phones!”

Daughter - “Yes he does. Mommy can call him.”

Son – “Mommy cannot call Santa, how would she get his number? He doesn’t give it out.”

Daughter – “When we took the picture with him at the mall, Mommy could have gotten his phone number.”

Son – “He is too busy for that.”

Dad (stirring the pot) – “Well the elves could answer the phones for him. So maybe they give out his number.”


Dad – “Maybe if you can’t reach him by phone, you can do travel, but when I was a kid, we wrote him letters.”

Son – “There are no roads to the North Pole. How would the mail get there?”

Dad – “Do you remember that book about Olive the Dog?”

Son and Daughter – “Yes.”

Dad – “How did Olive get to the North Pole?”

Daughter – “She took two buses, maybe a plane too.”

Dad – “Yes, and Santa has reindeer too and elves like the Elf on the Shelf, so delivering things is not a problem.”


I suppose when I think about, parents are part of the problem.

Nevertheless, it is a fun time of year especially when our kids still believe in magic. The kind that once it leaves the bottle, cannot be put back in. So for now, I will hope they come to their own conclusions, so to avoid making up any more stories about how to get to the North Pole and whether Santa (or his elves) has an iPad or not.

- Doug Glanville

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