Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Santa Baby


Today Daphne asked me, "Mommy, where does Santa live?" And suddenly I realized that my oldest child is getting to the age of asking questions about things that might force me to lie through my teeth for years. I'm about to launch her headlong down the rabbit hole of fantasy and deception and magical happiness beyond all measure. Am I up to the task? Are my fibbing skills sufficiently honed to keep up this charade for a decade or more?

I can honestly say that I have no memory of ever believing in Santa. I'm sure I must have at some point. But I can't remember it. I don't remember finding out he wasn't real either. I just don't remember anything about Santa until I was in my early teens and my mom asked me to help wrap presents. She told me to write "From Santa" on some. This didn't alarm me, so I must have known by then at least. But the event of actually finding out evidently didn't traumatize me enough to even remember it.

So I ask you, what do you tell your kids? The truth or that Santa is real? And when do you stop? When are they old enough to be told there is no Santa? And if they hear it from others, do you give in or keep up the charade? Red pill or blue pill...which is it?

14 comments:

Sandy Toes said...

That is a hard one...after the first child...the younger ones find out by the first one or when they go to school!
-sandy toes

rachel said...

Micah still believes (eight) or he is telling us he does. He just wrote his letter to Santa (yes already since the big toy flyers came out). I will milk it as long as I can. When he finds out the "truth" I will tell him that we believe in the Spirit or Magic of Santa...and hopefully he won't ruin it for his sister.

André said...

Lie, baby, lie. Let them live in a fantasy world and enjoy it while they can, at least until they take the red pill and wake up to reality.

Tiburon said...

We let them believe until they don't. ANd trust me it doesn't last long. Ethan found out when he was 6!

Mindi said...

i kept up the ruse until katie was about 10. but now i wrap every thing with my own paper and write the tags with my writing. i just tell the little ones that santa drops off the presents, he just doesn't wrap them.

red pill. all the way.

jennie w. said...

I have such strong feelings about this one that I blogged about it today.

That doesn't make me a copycat, right? It's more like a conversation

CaraDee said...

When Cameron asks if Santa is real, we ask him what he thinks. He says yes, and that's just fine with us. Then it's not lying.. ha

tammy said...

I let them keep thinking for as long as they can. I don't want the magic to be lost. I found out when a friend blew it for me and I was mad that she ruined it. I started to tell my then 11 year old about the tooth fairy and he started to get mad and tell me not to tell him that she's not real, so I figured I wouldn't even dare try to say anything about Santa. Now that he's 12 I think he gets it though. At least I hope he does because that would be really embarrassing for him at the old middle school.

MiaKatia said...

I never believed in Santa growing up and I don't think I missed out on anything. It just wasn't part of Christmas for us. I would not do it for my kids either, but my in laws have some family traditions that they feel strongly about so I let them do it for the kids.

Anonymous said...

I am the mother in question -- yours. Your father and I decided from the time we married that we would tell our children the several legends of the wonderful man named St. Nicholas centuries ago who gave toys to children. It was so wonderful for both the parents and kids involved, that the parents decided to go on with the gifts even after the sweet and loving Nicholas died (he wasn't a saint yet). So every year we keep his wonderful tradition alive by giving presents to people, and signing them "From Santa Clause." But the gifts are really all from people who know and love you, especially Mom and Dad. We firmed up that decision when we heard a disillusioned child ask her mother, "Is Jesus just pretend on Christmas, too?" No, my dear, we will never lie about Santa Clause least you think we were ever lying about Jesus. I know you sister Jennie does that too, much to her husband's fury and dismay. But everyone has to make their choice.
That's also what my parents taught me. I never remember being a bit lacking in excitment,thrill, magic, breathlessness, wonder and delight at the Santa Clause myth (as such), or Christmas eve, leaving milk and cookies for "Santa", presents, and wondering where things were hidden and what I would get. I don't remember you kids being any less excited, either. Sure, Virginia, There IS a Santa Clause. And there have been many since the original one. And aren'w we all glad.
Of course, Arianne, Mr. K would probably kill you for NOT lying.
Mom

Suzie said...

What do you mean questions about Santa? what are you trying to say? I just don't understand?

I believe.

Chelsea said...

We're going to do Santa Clause, but also talk about him being pretend. Although my parents claim they did this too and none of us believed them when they told us he wasn't real! The evidence of those presents with his name on them was more convincing than anything Mom or Dad said. :D

Mama C. said...

I tell my children that as long as they truly believe in the magic of Christmas, and the joy it brings to people's hearts, and the pride they feel when they've given, rather than received, then the magic that is Santa Claus will live on forever.

I also tell them that there really was such a thing as Santa -- in the form of St. Nicholas, who used to give small presents and toys to the needy children.

My oldest daughter (who's almost 10), has questioned the validity of Santa several times this year. And, I always give her the same response. I ask her, "What do YOU believe, in your heart?" And her answer is always, "That Santa does exist." I tell her that, as long as she believes, then it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

I'd advise you to get the book "The Polar Express". It works really well to "hook" those non-believers right back in! :)

alex dumas said...

I tease my nieces so much that I can maintain the Santa Claus ruse and they're still left wondering...just like with all of the other stories I feed them. ;)