Magic Unveiled: Discussing Santa with Your Growing Kids
I'll never forget that conversation with my kiddo. He was probably about 9 or 10. He looked me dead in the eye and said, "don't lie to me, you're the one that brings presents on Christmas day, right?" Cue the waterworks...
It's one of those moments where you see that sweet little innocent kid grow up before your eyes. I will say our conversation is still one we laugh about at our house, because of how things transpired.
I thought about dodging the conversation and asked why it was me he chose to have this talk with. His response of, "because I know you will tell me the truth" made that impossible. Well, great. Here it goes...
At this point, kids are talking about it at school and I wanted to make sure he had the tools to navigate that conversation with them. So, I reminded him that other kids (especially his little sisters) still believe and he shouldn't ruin that for anyone else.
It all went downhill from there. A moment of silence as he processed this new information. Then...
"Wait, what about the tooth fairy? AND the Easter bunny?" Lord, help me! I was mortified, but also impressed with this little detective putting the puzzle pieces together. Fortunately, he was proud to figure it all out too after the initial sting went away.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because I saw the BEST way to have this conversation with your growing kiddo. I was absolutely not prepared for this talk and I wish I would have found this article before this was all sprung on me.
This was posted to the Mom Advice Facebook page and it's absolutely brilliant:
Son: "Dad, I think I'm old enough now. Is there a Santa Claus?."
Dad: "Ok, I agree that your old enough. But before I tell you, I have a question for you. You see, the “truth” is a dangerous gift. Once you know something, you can't unknow it. Once you know the truth about Santa Claus, you will never again understand and relate to him as you do now.
So my question is: Are you sure you want to know?"
Son: "Yes, I want to know"
Dad: "Ok, I'll tell you: Yes there is a Santa Claus"
Dad: Yes, really, but he's not an old man with a beard in a red suit. That's just what we tell kids. You see, kids are too young to understand the true nature of Santa Claus, so we explain it to them in a way that they can understand.
The truth about Santa Claus is that he's not a person at all; he's an idea.
Think of all those presents Santa gave you over the years.
I actually bought those myself.
I watched you open them.
And did it bother me that you didn't thank me?
Of course not!
In fact it gave me great pleasure.
You see, Santa Claus is THE IDEA OF GIVING FOR THE SAKE OF GIVING, without thought of thanks or acknowledgement.
When I saw that woman collapse on the subway last week and called for help, I knew that she'd never know that it was me that summoned the ambulance.
I was being Santa Claus when I did that."
Dad: "So now that you know, you're part of it. You have to be Santa Claus too now. That means you can never tell a young kid the secret, and you have to help us select Santa presents for them, and most important, you have to look for opportunities to help people. Got it?"
Help each other this Christmas! and...be kind
This post gives me all the feels. It's beyond perfect. And I couldn't let it just sit on my Facebook page. I wanted to share with all the amazing parents out there that are quickly approaching this tough conversation. I'll be thinking of you.
Necessary Lies Parents Tell Their Kids
Gallery Credit: Sydney DuCharme