Santa's Not Real

We've never made a big deal out of Santa. We stop to get our picture taken with the bearded man nearly every year. But we've never said, "Go tell Santa what you want." We've always told the boys that their gifts come from us instead of the man in the red suit.

Partly because we want them to remember the real reason for the season. But mostly because we want all the credit for the gifts. I'm kidding. Sort of.

Early in our parenting, we decided that we would never make a big deal out of Santa, because we felt silly telling our kids to believe in something that isn't true. For those families that present Santa as real, that's fine and dandy. No harsh feelings from me.

But just a couple of weeks ago, Jack was squealing, "Santa is coming and bringing me presents!" I looked at him in utter confusion, wondering how in the world he conjured up this idea, when we've always said the gifts come from us.

As he jumped up and down announcing Santa's upcoming arrival, I simply said, "Jack, Santa is not real." He quickly came down from cloud nine and said, "OH!"

Since that day, every Santa he sees in the neighbors' yards or in the stores, he proudly proclaims, "Santa's not real!" It's as if he feels privileged to be aware of something that most two year-olds don't know.

I know that the day is coming when a parent will slug me in the middle of Target as a result of my boys ruining their kids' Christmas. But I'm all about the truth.

Today was a close call on this topic. The boys and I went to see "Frosty" at Casa Manana this morning. A fun time was had by all.

The best part was when Santa entered the last scene. Most children were screaming, "Santa! Hi, Santa! Santa!"

My children screamed, "Santa's not real!"

I teach them well.

What about you? Will you be the parent who slaps me for instilling the truth so early? Or do you downplay the whole ordeal, as well? Or do you go all out while your kids are young?


Margaret said...

Very funny you bring this up. Mark and I were just discussing this. He is of the feeling that he was completely destroyed that one year Santa was real and the next year he wasn't. He would prefer that we not teach Santa. I, on the other hand, love the joy and magic of Santa.

While we don't have kids yet, we are already planning for this. And honestly, I don't know what we will do.

Vicki R. said...

I personally can't stand Santa, mainly becuase it tends to "replace" the purpose of celebrating Jesus' birth. But my husband did the whole Santa picture deal & has hinted he wants the same for our toddler.

So, I win the argument of not having anything "Santa-ish" in the home, but I do believe it would be futile to try & deny the guy "exists" in the sense that the red suit is everywhere this time of year. So, I would guess there will be a picture now & then of Santa with our kid, but that's about it.

I hadn't thought of what we'll actually say about the subject, other than, like you said, tell the truth - same goes for the Easter Bunny as well. Good subject to discuss!

Common Mom said...

We do Santa . . . our kids get to ask Santa for one gift every year. It's kind of their way of guaranteeing that they'll get the one thing they really want . . . of course we do explain that asking for a $300 ride-on Jeep from Santa probably isn't gonna happen - cuz there are all those kids, etc. etc. etc. But, they both do well. Like this year, Keira wanted ANOTHER doll stroller - a twin doll stroller. She already has 3 strollers - yes 3. She knows we won't buy her another one, so she asked Santa :-) She asked him for one last year, too - cuz she really wanted it.

I guess in our house, if you don't believe in Santa, he won't bring you that one gift . . . so even after they know better, my kids will still "believe" in Santa :-) I love the magic of Santa and Christmas. Even after all the teaching about the real reason for Christmas, it's fun to add that little bit of magic.

So I wouldn't slug you if your kids ruined it for my kids, but I would explain to my kids that if THEY think Santa is real, then he is.

oh amanda said...

I'm with you. I didn't believe in Santa when I was growing up and I certainly don't think I "missed out" on the magic of Christmas!

My daughter is almost 2. She calls Santa "Noah". I have honestly not even said the word "Santa" to her, because I don't want her running around yelling "Santa" all month. She's been excited about "Baby Je-dus" and that makes me happy! She'll know who Santa is soon enough. And we're having as much fun as the next kid. All without a screaming picture in an old man's lap.