With Christmas just a few short months away, evidenced by the Christmas displays at Target right next to the Halloween candy, my boys have turned their attention to Santa.
Jack mentioned, with a slight sense of trepidation, that none of his friends believes in Santa. And, as kids do, these friends have offered him much evidence as to why Santa isn't real and are pressuring him to embrace the dark side. He dropped this on me in the car the other day, when my defenses were weak and I had in no way practiced a Santa speech or explanation. And Luke was in the car, so I didn't want to come clean for that and many other reasons.
"My friends say Santa isn't real. Is he real, Mom? Or is it you and dad that got that t.v. for me and get us our presents every year?"
"Some people believe in Santa and some don't. I think he's real."
"So it wasn't you that brought the t.v. to my room?"
"It was Santa."
"Do you swear?"
And there it is. The Question. It is an unwritten rule with my boys that if someone asks, "Do you swear?" that the response can only be the truth. How do I get out of this one without lying to The Question but also not giving up on the magic of Santa? Especially with Luke in the car?
Because truthfully, I am not ready for Jack or Luke to stop believing in Santa. Because if Jack stops, Luke will stop because Jack would not be able to keep that secret. Because it is so much fun to keep that belief alive and to have Santa's presents under the tree on Christmas morning. Because, for one to two months out of the year, I can use the "Santa's watching," method of discipline that never fails to work.
So I said, "I believe in the magic of Santa, and we can talk about it more later if you want."
And Jack, who is smart and could have easily seen through that if he was ready to stop believing, said, "I think I'll believe you instead of my friends. You always tell the truth."
So he has two disappointments waiting when the truth is revealed.
And Luke, who was listening intently to this entire conversation, said, "Why does Santa only bring one expensive present every year? He should bring more."
And that successfully changed the subject from whether or not Santa is real to how the boys can get more presents this year. I better start saving for Christmas.