Anna is at the absolutely perfect age for whole-hearted belief in Santa. It’s utterly charming.

We made cookies this afternoon, although “make” is probably too strong a word, since all we did was cut slices off of the tube of pre-made sugar cookie dough. Once they were all on the cookie sheet, it was time for the sprinkles–which of course ended up everywhere. And then there were extra sprinkles that had to be cleaned up, which then turned into a game where we were giants eating tiny sugar people and sugar buildings. But the cutest thing was when we pulled the cookies out of the oven, and we each ate one–to be sure they were good enough for Santa, y’know? Anna took a bite, then looked at me with a big smile and said, “It tastes like Christmas!!”

After dinner we pulled up the NORAD Santa tracking website, and were able to see that Santa had already taken care of Japan, Russia, Asia, and all the way over to western Europe, and was apparently about to cross over the ocean. We (of course) told her that Santa would only come if she was asleep, at which time she announced that she was very tired and ready to go to sleep.

I know it will never be like this again. Next year she’ll have enough doubt that she won’t be as completely enthralled, as overwhelmingly willing to suspend all disbelief . I’m savoring it this year, and if, by some chance, she does still believe in Santa next year, then I’ll consider myself fortunate instead of feeling disappointment.

Merry Christmas, y’all.