Magic vs. logic

I think magic and logic are on opposite sides of the same coin. At least for me. Over the holidays, my brother-in-law did a card trick a number of times that enchanted us all. For the first few times I watched, I did nothing but enjoy the sheer magic of the trick. After a couple of runs through, I began to puzzle through how it worked mathematically. Since I’m no math guru, this was a short and ineffective exercise that I abandoned with an internal nod and a “yeah, it’s a math thing.”

I know this is why I wasn’t upset about the Santa reveal when I was a kid. It seemed like a logical progression. I believed in the magic of Santa for years. And eventually I began to examine the logic of it all. Despite how fun it was to believe, it was obvious that on any inspection at all, the story just wouldn’t hold up. But I never felt betrayed by my parents for the Santa charade. It just felt right that I believed in this magical story, and when I was old enough to determine that it wasn’t logical, I could remember how fun it was to indulge in that belief.

I certainly hope that my daughter feels the same way because I think the charade is up. I think she began setting up traps last year. She requested an autograph. I was able to cobble together an acceptable one, and she was suitably impressed. But this year, she requested a letter. And I failed horribly. Just horribly. It looked almost exactly like my writing. When she failed to take the letter up to her room after the Christmas detritus was put away, I was pretty sure that it was all over. Only time will tell. I’m still trying to decide if I should broach the subject with her, or leave it alone. I’m leaning towards leaving it alone. Besides, why take away the time-honored tradition enjoyed by so many kids (including me) of faking a belief in Santa in order to continue receiving those presents?

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