Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Christmas Conundrum

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.


Loth said...

For a long time, the strange arrangement we have with the fairies whereby we buy the gifts, but a few weeks before Christmas they take them away to Santa for Christmas delivery, worked well. We could truthfully say that we did indeed buy the gifts - Santa then delivers them PROVIDED they have been good. Avoids the Christmas Eve change of mind on the preferred gift too - "Sorry, but the fairies already collected the present you said you wanted two weeks ago!"

Steve said...

great post - I think that's a situation we can all sympathize with! You made a good decision

Unknown said...

I think you made the right call on your answers. I think I will be sad when my last one knows about Santa, that is half the fun of Christmas!

MamaOtwins+1 said...

Oh - I am so scared of this question. The twins are 7 this year and I don't know if I can convince BOTH of them if they BOTH have doubts. But as my father told me, if you don't believe in Santa he won't bring you gifts.

Unknown said...

WHAT????? There's no Santa???? Are you kidding me!

Anonymous said...

I'll recommend a very fun book you guys could read this year. It's called "The Autobiography of Santa Claus" and it is written in 24 chapters - one to be read each day of December leading up to Christmas. It's a very cool book that goes through the legends of where Santa came from and never truly says Santa is a myth, but kind of leaves it in the readers hands to decide. We read it together as a family 2 years ago and REALLY enjoyed it. My girls, ages 10 and 8, both still believe (at least on the surface), but I'm sure that'll end this year since they're in school. It was so much easier to shelter them and keep things like that going when they were homeschooled! Let me know if you read the book!