Each year as Christmas approaches I wonder, “Will this be the year?” Will this be the year that my son stops believing. Will this be the year I’ll be asked that dreaded question: “Is Santa real?” And each year I wonder, “For how long is OK to keep lying to my son?”
He’s already figured out that the Santas at the shops aren’t “the real Santa” and that they’re “just a man, dressed up in a suit.” Because of this he almost flat out refused to get a picture with him this year, but a quick negotiation meant he sat on the log next to Santa for the pic. But because he knows he’s not the REAL Santa, he is wary of him and doesn’t want anything to do with him. Can I blame him for that? Not really.
We had family over for Christmas Eve dinner and we had told Nick he had to go to bed early because Santa can’t come until he’s asleep. Just one of a host of lies we tell in Santa’s name to benefit ourselves. We were all sitting around post-dinner, post-presents, when I saw this from Virgin Australia:I said, “Nick! You know how we sometimes go in a plane to get places? Well look what these pilots just saw!” and showed him the pic. Well, his eyes just about bulged out of his head and his mouth dropped open, almost hitting the floor. “Everyone has to go home now!” he declared. He had to get to bed, so Santa could come! He was already on his way!
Around 3 am Christmas morning, I was woken by a little boy beside my bed. “Mum, I need to go to the toilet but I’m scared.” “What are you scared of?” I asked. “I don’t know if Santa is here.” My heart ached a little. Are these lies we’re telling about a mythical stranger COMING INTO OUR HOUSE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT doing more harm than good??? Will he ever forgive us for these lies????
Then of course Santa f***ed up this year and didn’t bring him what he asked for. Luckily, mummy and daddy had brought what Santa asked for. But none of us got him the soccer boots he really, really wanted. Cue devastation.
By the end of Christmas, I actually found myself wishing next year would be the year he’d learn the truth about Santa.
How old were your kids before they learned “the truth”? And what or how did you tell them?