Monday, November 29, 2010

(Father) To Santa Or Not To Santa

There appears to be a whole spectrum of possibilities when it comes to belief or disbelief. 


On one end you may have a parent who lays out the milk and cookies for Santa and carrots for the Reindeer.  They have prepared the child with lists that have been mailed to the North Pole and phone calls or texts from Santa, Mrs. Clause, or the elves asking if Johnny has been good.  Perhaps a weather report before bed and where Santa is on his route.  In the morning the child finds the milk, cookies, and carrots with bites taken out of them, soot at the bottom of the fireplace, deer droppings on the front lawn, and packages signed, "From Santa".


Telling the kids that not only is Santa not real but telling every other child the same thing.  When the parents of the flake cover the child's ears then the scrooge may yell, "You are ruining your child's life with lies!  ALL LIES!!!"  The parent may not even set up a tree and if they do it is a fake one from 1962 with duct tape holding it together in 5 places.  The only reason they may have lights on the outside of their house is because they were too lazy to take them off 7 years ago.

Daisy and I have taken the, "Don't Ask Don't Tell" approach but we soon found out we couldn't stay on the fence for long. 

Scene 1  (The Recognition)

Beast:  There's Santa on the cartoon.  Santa is in that song.  There's Santa on the front lawn of that house.  Santa is on that glass, plate, box, light, advertisement, package, toy, cereal box, and everything else I have laid my eyes upon. 

Us:  Yep, there he is.

Beast:  There is Santa in the mall with kids on his lap telling them what they want for Christmas.

Us:  Yeah, why don't you wave and say hello.

Beast:  Hi Santa!  He waved back!!!

Daisy:  Isn't our child cute?

Goose:  He is adorable.  He gets such a kick out of Santa.  Let's point out more to him.

Daisy:  Yes, we shall.

Scene 2 (The Description)
Beast:  Does Santa have a big belly?  Why does Santa give gifts to kids?  Does Santa come down chimneys?  How big are the elves?  Why doesn't Mrs. Clause go with Santa to houses?
Us:  He has a big belly, because kids are cool, he comes down chimneys, maybe 3 feet, and because Santa is a lone wolf.
Daisy:  Doesn't Beast have such a great imagination and curiosity?
Goose:  He is so aware of his environment.  How did our child become so brilliant?
Scene 3 (The Belief)
Beast:  I asked Santa for (something unreasonably expensive) so he is going to give it to me on Christmas morning.

Us (looking at each other):  Oh.

Choice 1

Goose:  Y'know how Star Wars people are fun to talk about but aren't real?

Beast:  They aren't real?!?

Us (looking at each other)  Um. 

Goose:  We have more of a problem than we first anticipated.

Choice 2

Goose:  I'm sure he will lil' buddy.

Do you tell your kids Santa is real?  Do you tell them he is not?  If you tell them he is real then when do you tell them he isn't or do you ever tell them at all?  If you tell them he is not real then how do you explain how the other kids say he is? If you tell your kid he isn't real then the parents down the street are offended because your child begins placing doubts in their child's head?  Do the parents of the children who say he is not real have an equally legitimate argument?  Who is pi**ing on who's reality?  When it comes down to it who ends up having more fun with the whole idea of Santa?  What if you have a split family where one parent wants to explain the harsh reality and the other wants to explain the dreamy mystery?

How have you all resolved this dilemma?


  1. We did the whole Santa thing, and then the oldest child figured it out and was crushed. She actually burst into tears and sobbed.

    Then she promptly spoiled it for the youngest child, who took it philosophically.

    My husband and I were so depressed about the "magic of Christmas" being gone that we hardly bothered to decorate for the next couple years. I think we (he and I) are getting over it now.
    We'll just have to start some new traditions to fit our older/wiser/smartassier children.

  2. Thank you for the telling of your experience. Sounds like a difficult process to go through.

    Spoke with a friend this morning who said Santa made Christmas enjoyable when she was growing up and plans the same for her children.