Tell me the truth Mommy…

She isn’t fooled too easily. She is increasingly convinced that things that appear fictitious are generally fiction. She takes pride in providing the recently learned scientific explanations of things. So when this question penetrated my rather preoccupied consciousness the other day, “Mommy, tell me the truth, nothing but the truth!”

“Ok baby, ask!”

“Is Santa real?”

So I said to her, “No, honey, Santa isn’t real. Usually Dads dress up as Santa and leave gifts under the Christmas tree.”

After making my true statement I went back to doing whatever it was that I was doing. That is, until the silence in the room was interrupted by stifled sobs. I stopped what I was doing to pry away the hands that were now covering the tear-stained face.

“What happened, baby? Why are you crying?”

“You said Santa wasn’t real!”

So much for “nothing but the truth”

“Oh no! I was just messing with you sweetie! Of course he’s real! I was kidding! Now stop crying, c’mon, wipe away those tears.”

And just as easily all was right in her world again, Santa returned to his rightful place in reality.

The next morning there was a letter written and addressed to Santa and the search for stamps and envelope was on.

The problem with the Santa bit and the Christmas tree and tinsels, ornaments, gifts etc. is that it isn’t a part of my history or my traditions. I have nothing against Christmas, in fact I have no thoughts about Christmas at all! But now I need to try and not break her heart and think about putting in place some sort of Christmas/Holiday traditions. Then what about Hanukkah?

She made me a beautiful picture of the Star of David and a menorah and wrote a special Hanukkah message for me on it. I called it beautiful and tacked it up on the refrigerator, listened with great concentration and real interest to whatever she had been told in school about Hanukkah. Then somehow, the Hanukkah picture slipped off the refrigerator door and got lost and once again I had a sobbing little girl asking me what happened to her Hanukkah picture. We had to turn the house upside down to find it.

My thoughts naturally drift to how little we did for Diwali. There were no cards or pictures made for Diwali, not much mention of it at all except when we did a sort of Puja in the evening along the lines of what Mom had suggested. But not much else.

The teachers in her school didn’t say anything about Diwali, and the little Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa celebrators didn’t go home to their mommies and daddies spreading Diwali cheer either.

Should they? I don’t know.

Is it important for her to know about Diwali? Again, I don’t know.

There’s a chance she’ll grow up and ask, “what do WE celebrate?” or we might turn into this Christmas and Hanukkah celebrating family so that the questions about our celebrations never really arise and I don’t know which I prefer!


  1. Quite a conundrum. :S

  2. Hi Pragya,guess Anoushka is a lucky girl to be celebrating Christmas, Hanukka and Diwali. Keep writing and blogging.J

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