Professor Mom

Chronicles the life of a mom, teacher, and writer trying to stay sane amid the chaos of daily life.

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mouse's picture mouse

I struggle with this too, though we still have some time with Scooter.

My parents did not encourage belief in Santa at all, but I still believed since the information was everywhere. They finally told me point-blank (when I was 8 or 9) that he didn't exist. I really don't want to do that to Scooter. Right now I'm following Dale McGowan's advice. He writes on parenting without religion, which fits our philosophy, and talks about the questioning of Santa as practice in critical thinking. I suspect L. will do well with that pretty soon; the trick will be to get him not to spoil the surprise for T.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I like that approach, too mouse. Yes--I think the big issue will be how to finesse the situation once L. does grapple with the truth.


Mitch's picture Mitch

It's weird when you think about it -- the prime Santa years for a kid really only last about four or five Christmases, if that. When you're too young, say 3 or 4, you don't really get it, and then by the time you're -- what, 8? 9? 10? -- you figure it out. The notion of Santa has such power for kids, and even still does to most of us as adults, but it was such a small slice of our lives and it gets smaller every year.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

It does, you're so right Mitch. My daughter didn't even "get" Santa that much last year and this year, at 4 1/2 she's very much into the story and figure. But I imagine this won't last too many years more, especially if big brother figures it out and "educates" his little sister.


Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

Yes! I worry about this. From the time that I became a Santa Claus myself, I have worried about the day that I'd be found out. Sometimes I even feel a little guilty, thinking that I'm lying to my kids. Which is weird, I know. All of the fairies, Easter Bunny, Santa. All of it leaves me a little uneasy. I don't specifically remember a moment when I stopped believing in Santa, when the truth about it became real for me. It was obviously not traumatic for me. So I don't know why I worry that it will be for my kids.


gillie's picture gillie

My big stress this year was UPS aka "the brown truck" since he kept bringing stuff and the kids wanted to know what was in the boxes. I had to tell them, "Oh, it's just some stuff Grandma ordered for Aunt Lu for college since Grandma didn't have enough room at her house. Don't tell Aunt Lu; it's a suprise!"

Abbey has also been questioning a lot of things like how he can get down our chimney, or why presents from Santa come in store boxes (Santa "outsources") or whether or not a sleigh can fly without snow or what if your house doesn't have a roof or a chimney. I honestly don't know how much longer we'll be able to keep it from her. She is a closet cynic much like her dad.

Amie


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Your comment made me laugh, gillie. I had coffee with a friend today and we were commiserating about all this. We looked at each other and said, "Christmas is HARD work!"

I agree, Omaha. I can't remember being traumatized by discovering that Santa was my parents, so it clearly wasn't traumatic for me. But I still worry about it. A lot.


gigi9's picture gigi9

Well, I'm glad I'm not alone here! My kids are also questioning, and I think the "spirit of Santa" will be a reasonable explanation for them when the time comes. But for now, I'm relishing in the magic they feel with the jolly man :)


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Thanks for commenting! No, as you can see, you are most certainly not alone! The "spirit" of Christmas/Santa seems a safe explanation--and a good one, too.