Our son is extremely intelligent. And I’m not just saying that, it’s really true. Yet, despite his amazing intellect he would go on and on, all year long about Santa Claus: detailed stories about what Santa would bring him, how Santa would travel, how Santa would find him no matter where he was, the NORAD report.
It got to the point this summer that DH and I got a little concerned. We only have one child, and we’re counting on this guy to take care of us when we get old. Additionally, at eleven years old, DH worried that our son’s passionate insistence in the existence of Santa Claus would be socially limiting. We made the decision to tell him that Santa was not real.
It did not go well.
The child responded poorly.
He didn’t believe us, and he was pissed.
He couldn’t understand how the government could participate in a plot to trick little kids with the folks at NORAD.
And, it was inconceivable to him that we would lie to him for 10 straight years.
In short, he was totally pissed off and angry that we had ruined the Santa Claus for him.
Then, weeks later, DH dropped a second bomb on him: while the role of Santa had previously been played by mommy, this year, daddy would assume Santa responsibilities.
Apparently, that was worse news than the truth about Santa. For months, the boy has been moping.
The first time he saw Santa in the mall, he was even more melancholy. He has barely assembled his Lego Star Wars advent calendar, and he’s looked longingly and grouchily at little kids as they’ve chatted about Santa. Even though I’d like my son to know the truth, I worry that we’ve ruined a good thing much too soon and are now dealing with a moody, disenchanted pre-teen as the price for our attempted proactive parenting.
Yesterday, I saw a little brown elf on the shelf. When I do my day after Christmas shopping I’m going to pick one up. I hope that next year, a month of mischief from that silly little elf will bring some of the magic back to our Christmas celebration. Since the truth about Santa has been revealed the magic is missing at our house.
I’m hoping that tomorrow, my dear little child will remember the real reason for the season: the special moments we share with the people we love the most.
He’ll still get everything he’s asked for-regardless of who is representing the spirit of Santa Claus. After he unwraps all of his gifts, I hope that he’ll realize Santa and the spirit of Christmas is more than a person or presents, but the love and fun that comes when we gather and give love to those we love the most.
I hope that your holiday is merry and bright. And may all things magical both real and perceived make your Christmas special.