As I mentioned, Ella is doing her best to keep believing in Santa, despite having many friends at school who have told her the "truth."
Yesterday we invited the kids from next door over to decorate cookies, and I had fun eavesdropping on their conversations. Ella and her buddy L, who are in the same class at school and who have been buddies since they were 18 months old, were discussing Santa and how kids in their class don't believe in him. I laughed at this part of the discussion:
Ella: We Googled his e-mail address last night, and he has one, which means he's real. I mean, you can't have a gmail account unless you are real.
L: Exactly! They don't let people who aren't real have e-mails.
(This doesn't bode well for our efforts to keep them away from Internet predators or Nigerian scam artists.)
Ella: Plus, if Santa wasn't real, that means my mom would have had to buy TWO scooters AND a pogo stick last year all in one night. That's a lot of money, and she was home all night on Christmas Eve.
L: Yeah, my mom and aunt would have had to buy four video games last year all in one night. It would have been expensive, and they couldn't have done it all in one night.
Ella: So Santa has to be real.
I had a hard time not laughing while listening to this exchange. I'm pretty sure that Ella and L know that Santa isn't real, but they're not willing to give up believing just in case it means they won't get presents anymore.
Sunday afternoon the girls and I were out and about trying to find the clips that hold Christmas lights on the roof to replace the ones that disintegrated because our lights stayed up all year. While we were driving from one store to the other, the girls were in the wayback singing songs and chatting, and I was listening to the "Glee" soundtrack. Suddenly from the back Ella popped out with a question that almost made me wreck the car.
Ella: What does virgin mean?
Me (gasping for air and wondering where this is coming from): Ummm, it's someone who's never had a boyfriend or girlfriend before.
Ella: Why do they call Jesus's mother the Virgin Mary?
Me (still gasping): Ummmmmm . . . (deciding to just be clinical because we've had all the talks about where babies come from with the girls) . . . because Mary was pregnant without ever having a man put his p.enis inside her.
Ella: Well in the song, what do they mean by "Round yon virgin"?
Me: They're saying "Around that virgin, over there."
Ella: Well, who are the "mother and child" in the song?
Me: They're talking about Mary and the Baby Jesus. The song is about when he was born.
Fortunately, the girls moved on to singing "Jingle Bells," which doesn't have any lyrics that need translation. I'm not sure my nerves could have handled any more questions.