There comes a point in every parenting journey when you need to have the talk. So you tell your kids to take a seat. After all, they’re gonna want to sit down for this. With their heads tipped down a bit like a dog with its tail between its legs, they peer up at you waiting for the blow.
They may jump to conclusions about what’s to happen. Did they notice that hole in the drywall? Is Mom gonna have another baby?
Without delay, you slowly but clumsily begin to explain yourself. “You see, kids, well, you know Santa? Uh, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but, um, he’s actually not real.”
For our family, this conversation happened early. Perhaps too early. But we made a choice to be honest from the get-go, lest our kids wonder if everything we say is a fallacy. Is Jesus a fake too?
So we reluctantly spilled the beans. Assuring them that although Santa doesn’t exist, their parents do. So their new possession of this knowledge doesn’t end much differently for them than the kids who don’t know the truth about Santa yet. (Oh, yeah. And by the way, kids, do not leak a word of this to your clueless friends!)
We can still do all the Santa activities – talk about him, watch Santa movies, leave shoes out for St. Nicholas Day, send him letters, and leave him cookies (the good kind) on Christmas Eve night. Nothing changes. Other than, maybe, the fact that you’ve lost a piece of your innocence.
At 9 years old, our son has been privy to Santa’s existence (or lack thereof) for years. Yet somewhere along the way, he suffered from selective amnesia. So this year, he was absolutely stumped when I explained to him that all the presents that have been under our tree (for many weeks now) were from me and his dad.
“Huh? I thought they were from Santa?”
Sherlock son, those were from your hard-working parents. Santa doesn’t get credit for all that! I explain once again that Santa comes on Christmas Eve, brings one unwrapped present, and it even has a note tag on it – To: Caden From: Santa. Not to be confused with all of the cutely wrapped presents signed From: Mom & Dad.
He looks at me with a deeply furrowed brow. So I have to have the dreaded conversation. Again!
“Caden, you know that Santa isn’t real, right?”
He nonchalantly explains that he obviously does. His reaction is reminiscent of Danny Zuko in Grease. “Aw, that’s cool, baby. I mean, you know how it is rockin’ and rollin’ and what not.”
At least I have another year before I have to have the talk again.