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How do you tell your kids Santa doesn't really exist? It was a heartbreaking dilemma this year for KIRO Radio's John Curley and his wife. (AP file)

John Curley's family tearfully says goodbye to Santa for last time

This Christmas was a bittersweet one for KIRO Radio's John Curley and his wife, who made the gut wrenching decision to finally admit to their two children Santa Claus doesn't actually exist.

Somehow, the Curley's managed to keep Santa alive all these years even though their daughter is now 12-years-old, their son 11. But the forces of the non-believers finally prevailed. "I knew this day was coming," says John. "I had a feeling this was going to come up. You're 12 and you're 11 and all your friends are telling you that," John told his son on Christmas Eve, as he again questioned Santa's existence.

Rather than simply telling the kids their parents were actually Santa, John and his wife instead wrote and read what would be one of the most difficult messages they'd ever deliver as parents.

First John broke into tears as he sat on the edge of the bed and began to read it, and his wife did the same, barely getting through it. When they finished, their Children were heartbroken.

Here's the letter they wrote:

You have every reason to not believe in Santa Claus.

Your friends try and convince you. Some that are not your friends mock and tease you. They plant the seed of doubt that grows with your freshly minted rational mind.

You apply your 5th grade math to the question of whether an old man, bearded, in red suit, exists, and deduct that there is no way he could be in so many homes in such a short period of time. No way he could carry so many gifts in such a small sleigh, pulled by only a few reindeer. It just doesn't add up.

And you are right. But you need to know there are two worlds: one of numbers and things that can break, and sounds that hurt your ears, and smoke that clouds your sight, A world were some go to bed unkissed, where the last words before the silky veil of sleep are not "I love you." There is a world were a tiny hand is not taken when it reaches for only a single finger. In that world there is no Santa Claus. There should be, he is needed there the most.

Then there is the world your Mom and I promised to give you. It's a world where your tears may wet your cheeks, but will never dry untouched. A world where prayers are said and some are answered, but God is always present. A world were your laughter will for ever be the greatest sound Mom and I will ever know. In this world, there is a Santa. You will never see him, but as sure as you are loved, he is there.

Tonight I am afraid there are more tears then joy. For tonight, we as a family say farewell to a dear and trusted very old friend. He will not be coming back again for quite some time. But trust me, he will come back. When God blesses you with children, Santa will return. Because once you believe...he will always return.

And as his wife hugged their daughter and encouraged her to get some sleep, the tearful 12-year-old wrapped her arms around her mother and softly sobbed "goodnight Santa."

Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.
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