I tried to explain that we believe he is now all grown-up, and in Heaven with God. "In HEAVEN??" came her reply... Yep. "Plus," I continued, "Look all around you - and you can see Him anytime... The trees, the flowers, the sun, the water, the snow, the animals, people.... He's in everything!" As smart as she is, I'm not so sure whether the more abstract idea of seeing 'someone' in these physical surroundings is sinking in... but I'm guessing she'll surprise us yet.
I surprised my family at age 2, by expressing my 'Happy Birthday Jesus' wishes aloud during a quiet moment at a church service on Christmas Eve that season. I've said it before - they absorb more than we give them credit for!
We make a point to remember that we are giving gifts and celebrating because we are honoring the day that Jesus was born. She gets that. But now we have to remind her about how long ago that was - and that we can't take the "long trip to go visit her"... (She calls most babies "her" - as she's been surrounded by primarily other little girls thus far in her little lifetime.) I don't argue, since God is all-encompassing. "He made 'man' (as in HUman) in His image..." male & female.
So now, she turns her focus back to Santa... And we try to remind her that if she doesn't listen to Mommy & Daddy, Santa is only going to bring Addie presents. This year, Myla will ask Santa for something for the first time! She plans to ask him for a pink baby (dolly) bed. Then I guess she better not pout, better not cry, better not shout... (Or I might freak, I'm not gonna lie!)
TIP! It occurred to me, during this especially stressful time of 3-year-old limit-testing, that it may perhaps be in my best interest to write to Sir Santa, and inform him of this recent and enduring, naughty behavior. Maybe he'll be willing to write to Miss Myla in response, and encourage more appropriate conduct? This couldn't hurt! Next writing project: MOMMY'S letter to Santa!!!!!!!!!!!!