She had tears in her eyes when she insisted I tell her the truth today. "Is Santa real? I really, really, really want to know the truth." Her little sister is smitten with any guy with a white beard and red coat, but my older daughter has been barraging me with suspicious and confused questions lately. I could tell this time, she would not be satisfied with anything less than the truth. I took my 8-year-old by the hand and brought her into my room. Tears spilled from my eyes as I confessed. "Yes, Santa is real," I explained. "But Santa isn't who you've always thought he was." Her eyes got wide. He isn't a man in a red suit who lives at the North Pole. "Santa" is your family. "Santa" is all the people who love you so much they join forces and make something magical happen for you every December." I looked into her blue eyes, prepared to see terrible disappointment. Instead, I saw a teary smile. Finally, she had an answer that made sense. She was in the know. And she was filled with new understanding about how much her family loved her, and how much we had sacrificed to make her Christmas mornings magical. "The tooth fairy and Easter Bunny too and the Elf on the Shelf?" she asked. I nodded. "Them too. But we have to make sure your little sister doesn't find out, okay?" More tears popped into my eyes as I realized we are now down to one little believer in the family. I hope she won't ask these big questions until she's 30. Then, my daughter had a revelation. "Does this mean I'm "Santa" too now?" Yes, sweetheart, there is a Santa Claus. And you are part of him.