I came close to believing.
“Who wouldn’t believe in Santa Claus, even as a kid?”
A guy would visit your house every year with a gift—if you were good. I could be good. I have been. And a gift for being that isn’t so bad. And this guy isn’t much of stranger, since practically everyone knows him.
But what house in the Philippines has an actual working chimney?
“Okay then, how about windows?”
The very kids who’d love him to be real don’t even have houses to speak of, much less windows. And what they ask for sometimes aren’t even toys, just the basic stuff to help them and their families to get by.
“How about the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Rabbit?”
She could make a killing over here, what with all the teeth that fall out—and not just from kids and not just because they’re growing up. It’s what they eat or don’t eat. It’s what they do to get to eat. Brawls are nothing new to kids here. It’s literally a fight to have food. You damage or lose parts of you for little sustenance. And the Rabbit? I fear for him. They might cook him if they find him.
Kids here find it easier to believe in creatures of horror and hate, of things that go bump, break, and bad in the night because those are what can be abundant here.
Here, surviving every day remains unmatched by any present from anyone.