When the girls arrived they were so naive and sheltered from the Western world it was easy to make them believe in Santa Claus. I told them all the same things I heard as a child, about, yes he looks like Santa but it is just his helper and yes he has hundreds of helpers. I had them sit down and write Santa a letter there first year here. They worried that they could not speak or write English and Santa would not understand them. I ensured them that he spoke many languages and could read their letters. It was so interesting to watch them think of what they wanted for Christmas when they never had a Christmas like ours. After the first Christmas I was presented with the question if Santa speaks all languages why doesn't he come to their country. Some quick thinking on my part: “Well did you ever write him a letter? Their response was no one told them that they needed to so they could get presents. In my sarcastic sense of humor I said “there was nothing I could do about that”. So now if you write he knows where you’re at and will bring presents. The next Christmas came and English was better so the letters became more detailed and wish list was much longer, and need I say the cost of said list was going to bankrupt me. I assumed that at any given moment some kids at school would learn they believed in Santa and promptly tell them it your parents. The girls were skeptical last year but replacing the souvenir snow ball from Split Rock Light house which was a feet all of its own , got me one more year with them still believing at their ages. Maybe I was just more proud of myself for the ability to keep them believing. My oldest daughter many times came close to telling or letting the cat out the bag as it were. When asked why she did not write letters to Santa she replied he does not like me. Not the answer I would use but it worked. The other night we had another, is there really a Santa Clause conversation. When the older one says I don't really believe in Santa anymore and then the youngest piped up and said “ya, I know you ate the cookies and drank the milk last year”. I quickly reminded them I don't eat sweets but the swiftness of her reply was as if she knew what I would say and was ready with a comeback of, but you drink milk and Uncle Jimmy likes cookies. OK ya got me there. My rebuttal was not to be heard and she just knew it was us. After a long pause she said “If I put some poison in the milk and cookies I will know who Santa is because they will be sick.” The laughter grew as images of a dead Santa laying in the back yard and my brother hanging over the porcelain god of the wash room flashed through my head. I still have not admitted to the truth but they tell me they will write a letter again just in case.