I belong to a wonderful group by the name of Wordsmith Studio. Each week there is a writing prompt. This week the prompt is
I don’t remember when I found out that perhaps the jolly man in the red suit was not the magnificent giver of gifts. It seems that it just did not have any effect on me.
Fast forward to my first child’s first Christmas. Times had changed and there was a debate about whether or not telling your children about Santa was a good thing. One of my wonderful neighbors had been traumatized by finding out about Santa and she did not share the jolly old man as a giver of gifts with her children. This gave me pause. Will it traumatize my children to find out that Santa may not come down the chimney? After all, I probably did enough all on my own without adding a mysterious figure to traumatize my children.
After a debate, my husband and I decided on Santa. Here is the thing, I like Santa. I like to believe in Santa. As my children will tell you (while rolling their eyes)
“Santa is the spirit of Christmas.”
Yes, that is the company line around here. So we were going to have visits from the jolly guy but we decided that he would just bring one gift a year. They would not receive all gifts from him so that when they found out, it might lessen the blow. This is, of course, ignoring the fact that what traumatized my neighbor was probably more that her parents lied to her than presents disappearing. Why concern yourself with reality?
Do I think that we made the right choice? Yes, I think that we did. I clearly remember a little girl running into her parents’ bedroom one Christmas morning yelling with wonder “He came!” I would not have wanted to miss that for anything. (Okay, I make her still say it every year. Somehow it does not sound the exact same now that she is 25 but I am sticking to it!)
So as years went on, my children discovered that while Santa was the spirit of Christmas, he did not bring gifts. We went through a year or so of questioning and then a year or two of not admitting for fear that the Santa gift would disappear. But all too soon, Santa as the bearer of gifts was gone. I think there is a little something lost in not waiting for Santa but life is full of change and it will change again.
Here is another Bad Mom story. The spring after my son found out about Santa, we were driving by a candy shop. I mentioned that it was that particular shop where I bought the Easter candy. To my utter amazement, my son looked at me with great shock and said “The Easter Bunny isn’t real either?” I will tell you that it had not occurred to me that he could find out about Santa and still think that a large rabbit would bring him candy at Easter. I decided to just keep my mouth shut at that point. He didn’t talk to me the rest of the way home.
Thanks for reading!