One person can’t deliver presents to all the kids of the world, but maybe that’s not a sad thing after all.

It’s that time of year, when good little children around the world are looking forward to Santa brining them gifts on Christmas Eve. Of course, that also means it’s the time of year when inquisitive children start asking about whether or not this Santa guy is even real.

Skeptic children’s doubts have only gotten tougher to dispel in the modern era, when even kids themselves often know that the presents they want are toys or electronics made by major companies, not in a rustic workshop at the North Pole, and that it shouldn’t be possible for one jolly dude in a red suit to pick up and deliver them all in one night.

But there’s a way Santa can still fit into the modern realities of Christmas gift-giving, as pointed out in a post from a while back on Japanese question-and-answer site Yahoo! Japan Chiebukuro. The question about whether or not Santa is real was posed by a Japanese elementary school student, with Chiebukuro user tes supplying an extremely thoughtful, and heartwarming, answer, which begins with:

“Santa exists. Technically speaking, he’s not the first-generation Santa, but yes, there is a Santa.

However, recently he’s not as directly involved in the present process. He used to make and deliver all the toys himself, but the system is a little different now.”

For example. since it’s not right to sneak around someone’s house, and also because very few homes in Japan have chimneys, tes offers the explanation that Santa actually leaves presents in Japanese homes’ entryways, where parents retrieve them and place them quietly next to their children’s pillows (the standard place where Japanese kids discover their presents from Santa).

And even if Santa isn’t making those Nintendo Switches or Pokémon plushies himself, he he does arrange for companies to produce batches for good boys and girls. Since he can’t make all the deliveries in one night, he even coordinates with various delivery companies to make sure kids will have their presents in time to play with them on Christmas morning.

“So instead of one person named Santa handling everything himself, a lot of people work together, with each of them taking on a little part of the Santa role,” the explanation goes on to say. “The people who make the toys think ‘I hope this toy will make someone happy,’ and so do the people who deliver it to your home and whoever puts it next to your pillow. They’re all hoping to give you a happy moment.”

It’s an extremely thoughtful and sweet way of answering the question. By softening the narrow narrative of “Santa is a magic figure who does everything himself,” it fits in with a growing child’s expanding knowledge of how the real world works, which is often what causes them to start doubting Santa’s existence in the first place. The explanation meshes elegantly with how the concept of Santa and Christmas giving evolves in most people’s hearts as they grow up. Early on, the focus is on “What is Santa going to bring me?” As we grow older, though, we come to learn that it’s really the thought that counts, and that it’s not just St. Nick who shows us kindness at Christmastime and deserves our gratitude.

The explanation even wraps up by telling the child that one day, when they’re older, it’ll be their turn to take on part of Santa’s role, and with the question having been posted a few years ago, maybe they’ve now becoming part of the chain of kindness and caring that will lead to kids receiving their gifts this year.

Source: Yahoo! Japan Chiebukuro via Twitter/@Shimpe1 via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2)
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