When it comes to the question of Santa’s existence, my kids and I take a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” approach. We have an understanding that they won’t ask too many questions about Santa, and I won’t reveal too many answers.
I’m pretty sure my daughter is skeptical at this point, but she’s afraid to actually renounce her beliefs just in case it would mean fewer toys on the Big Day. She once asked my husband if Santa was real, and he said, “Why don’t you try not sending him a letter this year and see what happens?”
She didn’t take him up on the offer.
To be honest, I’ll be glad when the kids finally figure out the truth because I have always had a hard time with the Santa Claus issue. I know it’s all in good fun, but I just can’t get past the idea of lying to my kids, no matter how innocent the lie may be.
Call me a Scrooge, but the whole Santa thing seems kind of ridiculous to me. The idea of making your kids sit on a strange man’s lap to ask for a bunch of new toys goes against everything I have taught them about not talking to strangers and not being greedy.
Couple that with the idea of dressing kids up in ugly red-and-green outfits and making them put on a fake smile for an overpriced photograph, and the whole Santa thing seems like a humbug to me.
Luckily, my kids have never wanted anything to do with Santa. Every year, we walk by the Santa display at the mall, and they never want to sit on Santa’s lap. They don’t mind writing him a letter or sending him an email, but they don’t actually want to touch the strange, bearded fat man. I can’t say I blame them!
So when Santa Claus himself showed up at a birthday party for one of Miles’ friends last week, I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t expect Miles to get too excited since he’s never expressed interest in Santa before. But I couldn’t help pointing out to him that this Santa had real whiskers.
Miles surprised me by saying, “I KNEW he was real!” and took his turn on Santa’s lap for the first time in his life.
While it wasn’t the reaction I expected, I decided to go with it and let him enjoy the moment. It was fun to watch his eyes light up as his doubts were resolved. I figure the whole experience probably bought him at least another year of Santa Magic. I have to admit it was kind of cool.
But I can’t say I’ll be disappointed when the kids finally figure out the charade. When they ask for a certain toy for Christmas it will be a relief to just say, “Sorry, it’s too expensive,” instead of, “Well, you can ask Santa for it.” I’m not usually anxious for the kids to grow up too fast, but when it comes to this Annual Festival of Greed and Deceit I will be glad when their eyes are finally opened to the truth.

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