Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Santa Claus

This morning, I came across this post over at Clover Lane.
What timing.

I've been slightly struggling for a little while now. I remember debating in some online forums about telling your children about Santa. I've done Santa with both my kids, and while sometimes it does get a little tiring having a big jolly fictional man get all the credit for our hard work - I always believed that Santa added so much magic and excitement to the holidays. I loved believing in Santa, and after I figured it out (I was maybe 8 or so) the holidays did seem to sparkle just a little less. Some people believe that it's wrong to tell your children about Santa. That you're beginning their life with lies and that it sets up trust issues in your relationship. I never, ever believed that.

But, I also didn't want to flat out lie to my children when they asked. The first time I was asked was when my oldest, Evan was 5. He heard it from a neighbor. My responses over the years have been a general sort of "well, do you think there's a Santa?" and "I believe in Santa" and "Who do you think gets all your gifts" and things along that line.


About 2 months ago, Evan (who is now 11) made mention to it again. I honestly thought he had it figured out a couple of years ago, and just went along with it every year because of his younger brother and, well, just in case. But he asked me flat out not long ago and this time I didn't skirt around the issue. I didn't say No, I just didn't really give my usual answers. And wow, something in his face just shocked me. Made me sad. His words? "why did you lie to me? You lied to me."

Oh, no.

It's been a while since this conversation, and I've been meaning to sit down with him, with my husband and have the actual conversation - you know, where we admit to everything and let him in on the "secret". Where we really finalize and validate his suspicions. I mean, he is old enough to know. Most of his friends had the conversation years ago.

But I just haven't done it. There hasn't been a good time, or time away from his brother, or any time. But really, I just didn't know what to say. I've had all the answers ready, in my head I've had the conversation a thousand times since he was 5. But suddenly, I don't know how to handle it.

Earlier this week, Colin insisted, was certain there was no Santa. He's 6.

I'm not ready to lose this magic in our house.

So I was so glad to read that post this morning. What's so wrong with never really admitting to the whole scheme? Why can't I just keep on answering that I believe in Santa too? They won't believe in Santa forever, with or without us talking about it formally. They're going to grow up and grow out of Santa, just like they grew out of diapers and baby teeth and last years shoes.

So, you know, for now. I'm just going to keep on sprinkling the magic around our house. And just like when I was growing up, there will still be presents from Santa under the tree when my children are teens and even longer.


Barefoot Goddess said...

My grandma still signs some gifts "from santa." her youngest child is 30 and her oldest is over 50....I think it's part of the fun.

Barefoot Goddess said...

My grandma still signs some gifts "from Santa." For more proof, visit here:

Valkyrie said...

I am totally pro Santa. I flat out lie to my kids, and I'm not sorry. :-)

My 13-year-old knows now there is no Santa, but I swear to god, he just stopped believing like last year or something! But he still goes along with the Santa thing for the sake of his little brother (who is six).

I love the magic of Santa too. It's not like there is NO magic without Santa. Of course there is. Christmas is special and magical no matter what. But Santa is so much fun!

I'll always do Santa. Probably forever, long after my kids are disillusioned.

Star said...

My mother always tells me that if you don't believe in Santa, he won't bring you any damn presents, and she's too broke to buy them, lol.

Seriously, though, I often think the whole "YOU'RE LYING TO YOUR KIDS!!!!@!" think is overblown. I felt no anger at my parents when I discovered there wasn't a Santa (and, no, we didn't have a conversation about it, either...I just figured it out.) Instead, I felt incredibly blessed that I had parents that would go to that extreme to make a holiday magical for me. For instance, one year, when my sister and I were a little jaded, but still pretty young, she had my neighbors go to the house while we were at dinner on Christmas Eve and put out all of our Santa presents. Since we knew there was no way my mom could have done it, and my dad was out of town, we were awestruck.

It takes a selfless parent to spend time and money picking out and/or making toys and allow someone else to take credit. It takes a parent who puts their love of their kid above the human want for recognition. And what is more in the holiday spirit than selfless giving?

And as Evan gets older, he'll come to the very same conclusion. :)

Sara said...

AW! I think like you, I'm just going to keep letting them believe and then it'll be a quiet acceptance. But like some of the commenters, we will continue to get Santa gifts even when they are adults. My MIL still fills the stockings with "Santa" gifts for everybody. It is a nice tradition.