All three of my boys still Believe. I’m glad they do. I love the magical feeling of Christmas and I want my kids to remain faithful little boys who easily accept what their parents tell them.
This year, however, I’m having a hard time with the man in the red suit and I kind of want to just get it out there for my kids to know the truth. You see, we’re really struggling financially. More than we have in, well, ever. It’s 10 days from Christmas and we haven’t even started shopping for gifts because we just don’t have the means to do so. I have some wonderful friends who have stepped in and offered presents that we can give the boys. We can say they are from us or from Santa or whatever we like. These friends are saving Christmas. Sure, I’d like a present or two under the tree, and sure, I’d love to get Ches something really great (I have lots of ideas!!), but when it comes down to it, I just want my kids to enjoy Christmas morning. You don’t need a lot to make them happy. But something under the tree would be nice.
I have one friend who bought us a really big gift. I mean, it’s a lot. It starts with a W and rhymes with “mii”. 😉 I am so overcome with emotion about this gift, I can’t even describe my gratitude. We are putting it under the tree from Santa. But I kind of want my friend to get the glory and appreciation. He and his wife and kids are sacrificing for us. Why? Because they want to. Because he knows what it’s like to have slim pickings on Christmas day. Because he and his wife are just wonderful, kind people. I want my kids to write HIM a thank you note. I don’t think a mythical man should get all the appreciation for this. I’m about ready to just tell my kids the truth so when they open presents they will know that it’s people sacrificing for them and giving to them. I’m so undecided about it, however.
Aiden is about ready to know. Some kids at school know and have told him that “it’s just your parents slapping a tag on something THEY bought that says FROM SANTA. There’s no Santa!” So yeah, Aiden is starting to ask questions. He started last year, but I was able to put it off with a “what do you think?” and let him draw his own conclusions.
As Aiden was telling us what his playground friends had said over breakfast, Dallin pipes up with, “My teacher said there’s no Santa and it’s really just your parents.” Now, Aiden is 8 years old and in third grade. I’m not too surprised this is coming up. But Dallin is just 5 and in kindergarten. And his teacher told him this?? I was starting to get upset. So I asked him exactly what teacher said this and exactly what did the teacher say. He said the teacher said it was really parents buying gifts, but then the teacher said, “Just kidding!” so he knows it’s really Santa. It was his “new” teachers, from Primary (Sunday School). I’m pretty upset. They have kids his age. How would they like it if someone took it upon themselves to relate that kind of news and then say, “Just kidding!” to a five year old? Dallin doesn’t know what to believe right now! He’s so confused!! How dare they do that? It’s MY job to decide when to tell my kids.
Parker is just four. He is just learning about gift giving. I absolutely don’t want to ruin Santa for him. That and he just isn’t at an age where he would understand to not tell his friends what he learned, anyway.
That’s the problem with this whole Santa thing. When do kids get to know the truth? And how do you keep them from spoiling it for others? And how do you keep the truth from spoiling that magical feeling of Christmas, even for a little bit?
Parenting is hard.